Apr 17 2014
Leave it to the French to take something as simple as a ham and cheese sandwich and turn it into something much fancier, and much more decadent.
I don’t know if you can even call the Croque Monsieur a grilled cheese sandwich, since it’s cooked under the broiler and not in a skillet, but it may have ruined me for all ham and cheese sandwiches from this point forward. As it turns out, Gruyere is another new favourite cheese I’ve discovered during Grilled Cheese Week, and it’s everywhere in this sandwich. It blends beautifully with the ham inside, and is also in the bechamel that smothers the entire thing. All that cheese and sauce does make this one a bit of a mess to eat, like Jen’s Grilled Cheeseburger Sandwich, and you’ll probably have to use a knife and fork. Also similar to another sandwich covered here during the week, the Frog in a Hole Grilled Cheese, you can top the Croque Monsieur with a fried egg and turn it into a Croque Madam.
2 tablespoons butter, plus one $0.18
2 tablespoons flour $0.02
1 1/2 cups milk $0.42
A pinch of nutmeg $0.05
1 1/2 cups Gruyere cheese, shredded $6.00
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese $0.75
8 slices French bread $1.44
8 thin slices of ham $3.28
6 tablespoons Dijon mustard $0.72
Total cost $12.88
Cost per serving $3.22
1.) Preheat the broiler. When hot, place bread on a broiler tray and place in the oven for one or two minutes, to toast. Be sure to keep an eye on it, as anything placed under the broiler can burn very quickly. Remove from broiler when toasted, and set aside.
2.) Meanwhile, make the bechamel sauce. Melt butter over medium heat until it’s just bubbling. Add the flour, whisk to thoroughly combine until smooth, and then cook for about two minutes. Slowly add milk while whisking constantly. After all milk has been added, cook for another five or six minutes, until the entire mixture thickens. Remove from heat and add Parmesan, Gruyere, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
3.) When toast has been removed from the broiler, brush four slices with Dijon mustard and top with two slices of ham each, and the remaining Gruyere divided up among the four. Finish by topping with remaining toasted slices of bread.
4.) Divide the bechamel between the four sandwiches, and spoon over top while sandwiches remain on the broiler tray. Sprinkle with any remaining Gruyere cheese. Return to under broiler and broil for three to five minutes, until the entire thing is hot and bubbly.
5.) Serve and enjoy!