Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Croque Monsieur

For some reason, I've been really into the Barefoot Contessa lately. If you don't know who she is, I guess you don't watch the Food Network like I do. I found a couple of her cookbooks at the library a few weeks ago and have been hooked ever since. The woman is obsessed with Paris and has a recipe book devoted entirely to easy French food you can make at home. As soon as I saw this sandwich, I knew Brian would like it. He loves grilled cheese and this is a gourmet/French version of it--kind of like an inside out grilled cheese. I made these last night (but I cut the recipe in half and it was plenty for the both of us) and it was easy and delicious!

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch nutmeg
12 ounces Gruyere, grated (5 cups)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
16 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed (I used Pepperidge Farm sour dough)
Dijon mustard
8 ounces baked Virginia ham, sliced but not paper thin

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere, and the Parmesan and set aside.

To toast the bread, place the slices on 2 baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes, until toasted.

Lightly brush half the toasted breads with mustard, add a slice of ham to each, and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyere. Top with another piece of toasted bread. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned. Serve hot.

1 comment:

  1. Tested and JOhn approved. Super delicious. I didn't have gruyere or parmesan cheese, so I used gouda and mozzarella instead, since I already had it. I also didn't have any ham, so I used turkey, and John asked me to add bacon as well. I think it still turned out pretty delicious and fun to know that you can use any cheese/meat moderation.