| croque monsieur

September 5, 2011
This is really just a fancy ham and cheese toastie. It has a little bit of the essence of truck stop about it: fried bread, hot cheese. But Larrousse talks about the Croque Monsieur as a Parisian afternoon snack, something to be nibbled upon after a walk along the promenade. Thinking about it in this way, it seems reasonable to eat these sandwiches as dinner with wine and maybe, maybe a crisp lightly dressed salad, which is exactly what we have done more than once in last couple of weeks.

Our friend Nadia made Sarah and I a dinner of ham and cheese toasted sandwiches in her new house. We drunk copious amounts of red wine between bites of melting cheese and crunchy bread. We ate them at her new kitchen table, in her new kitchen in her new house. It felt so much more satisfying than a big, fancy dinner – and is part of a new life mantra to cook a little less, without lessening excellence. Maybe Sarah and I have betrayed the new life mantra by covering the sandwich in béchamel and calling it a croque monsier, but oh well, that almost burnt, cheese topping is worth the effort.

Croque Monsieur
This recipe is for four sandwiches.

loaf of light rye bread, sliced
400g free range, organic ham, slices
300g of Gruyere (or any melting cheese), sliced thinly

for the Béchamel:
600ml Milk
1 Bay Leaf
6 Peppercorns
50g butter
40g plain flour
100g Emmenthaler, grated finely

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Warm the milk with the bay leaf and peppercorns and let stand for 20mins so the flavours steep. Strain the milk into a jug and wash out your pan. Return the pan to the heat and melt the butter gently. When melted add the flour and stir quickly with a wooden spoon until the flour and butter form a ball (a roux) in the pan and cook for one minute. Take the pan off the heat and slowly pour in the milk, while whisking briskly. Make sure the milk is combined well with the roux and then return to the heat stirring all the time until it thickens and becomes glossy and smooth. Add the finely grated cheese, stir til melted and set aside.

Assemble your sandwiches with the ham and cheese. Lightly butter the outside of the bread. Be sure to season your sandwich well. Heat a frypan and cook the sandwiches until crisp and golden on both sides.

Place your sandwiches on a tray and spoon over your Bechemel. Place the sandwiches in the oven and cook until the Bechemel bubbles and your cheese is melted.

Chop the sandwiches into small triangles. Serves six people as a light dinner or snack.

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Category: dinner, recipes, snack
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croque monsieur: 5 comments

  1. rachel Says:

    I made these as the main dish for christmas a few years ago and will try again this weekend!!!!!!!

  2. Lillie Says:

    oh, yummo. i believe i have just established what we are having for dinner tomorrow night. thank you!!

  3. Emma Says:

    Everything about this looks good. And there’s nothing quite like a ham and cheese toasted sarnie 🙂

  4. Chloe Says:

    I made these little delights for everyone at work today! delicious!

  5. Anna Says:

    This was one if my favourite cafe meals when I was on exchange in Belgium. They would serve it with a salad and mayo. Growing up in Gippsland ,mayo was always that gummy stuff so when I arrived in Belgium and discovered what real mayo was I was slightly obsessed. I quickly understood why it got slathered over hot chips!

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