A Croque Monsieur is a hot ham and cheese grilled sandwich. It’s a popular French bistro or café sandwich. The name means "crispy mister"... the origin of the name is unknown. The original Croque Monsieur was simply just a grilled ham and cheese sandwich using emmentaler or gruyere cheese. Numerous more involved variations have developed… this recipe is among them.
The recipe I have grills the sandwich… then adds a thick Mornay sauce (béchamel sauce with gruyere cheese)on top…sprinkled with some more grated cheese then set under a broiler to melt the top cheese and brown slightly.… this version is absolutely delicious!
Gruyere tends to be very expensive… a less expensive alternative is using a mix of Swiss and gruyere.. Sargento makes an Artisan Blend of Swiss and Gruyere that’s excellent and more affordable.
Some recipes only toast the bread … I tried that method… but found it a bit too dry… I suggest you follow my instructions that spreads butter or margarine (margarine works fine) on the outer sides of the sandwich bread and then grills the sandwich in a grill pan.
This Mornay sauce recipe makes for a very thick sauce… which is desirable… you essentially spread it on the top of the grilled sandwich before broiling it… if you make Mornay sauce for any other purpose… it would be a somewhat thinner sauce.
This recipe makes 4 sandwiches.
I hope you try this version of a Croque Monsieur..
Recipe: Croque Monsieur
All you need:
For the Mornay Sauce:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
½ cup Sargento Artisan Blend Shredded Swiss and Gruyere Cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg
For the Sandwich:
8 slices of bread (I use white sandwich bread)
About 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine (for spreading)
½ lb. baked deli ham
About 3 cups of shredded Gruyere and Swiss blended cheese
All you need to do:
To make the sauce:
In a small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter.
Add the 2 tablespoons of flour and stir well.
Cook for about 2 minutes to “cook off” the flour taste.
Slowly pour the milk into the saucepan, whisking constantly with a whisk.
Whisk vigorously to make sure there are no lumps. Sauce will thicken fairly quickly.
Remove from the heat and add the shredded cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir well until cheese is melted… about 2 minutes. Sauce will be very thick. Set aside.
To make the sandwich:
Spread butter or margarine on one side of each slice of bread.
Place slices, buttered side down, on a cutting board.
Spread Dijon mustard on 4 of the non-buttered sides.
Place a few slices of ham on top of the Dijon mustard.
Place about ½ cup of shredded cheese (Gruyere-Swiss mix) on top of the ham.
Place with a slice of bread, dry side down, on top of the cheese…with one the buttered side up.
Repeat for each sandwich.
Heat a grill pan over medium heat.
Place sandwiches on the grill…. grill until bottom is golden brown.
Carefully flip the sandwiches over and grill other side until golden brown and cheese has melted.
TIP: To keep the bread from sliding off when flipping over, place a spatula over the top to hold the bread in place and use another spatula to flip it over.
Preheat the oven to broil.
Place grilled sandwiches on a baking sheet.
Put a generous helping on of Mornay sauce on the top of each sandwich and spread over the top.
Sprinkle about ¼ cup shredded cheese on top of the sauce.
Broil sandwiches until the top has slightly browned and started to bubble. Remove immediately.
Watch carefully because once the sauce and cheese starts to turn brown… it will quickly burn if you don’t take it out of the oven immediately.
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