I’m not gonna lie. Every time I am in Paris, I try to eat the same thing almost everyday for lunch. I know. Boring…..right? (I guess I should say except when I’m eating at Ralph’s). My favorite sandwich in the world is a Croque Monsieur. It is basically a hot ham and cheese sandwich with a cheese sauce on top that is then broiled. Ironically, I had my first Croque in a little French dive in Cambodia, and I was hooked. Yeah, yeah, we make grilled ham and cheese in this country all the time, but no one does it better than the French. Maybe it’s the bread. Maybe it’s the crisp salad with a delish dressing as a side. Maybe it’s the fact that I am in Paris when eating it. Or maybe…..it’s just plain good.
I have discovered through my research that no two are the same, but oh, la, la, they sure are good. Today I am serving up the Barefoot Contessa’s version for you to try chez vous. Add a little wine and some good conversation, and it might just make you feel as if you are in Paris.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces Gruyere, grated (5 cups)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
16 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
8 ounces 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. If you prefer a Croque Madame, add a fried egg to the top.
Have a great week-end. I am flying up to Jordan’s today to spend a week. We have a new product to share along with some projects we will be doing.
Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/croque-monsieur-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback