The Croque Monsieur is a classic French Ham and Cheese Sandwich. But, like everything French, they’ve taken it to the next level.
As French As Croque Monsieur
The French version of a grilled cheese, this epic cheesy sandwich brings ham, Dijon mustard, and a creamy Béchamel sauce to the mix.
The Croque Monsieur might not be the most boastful of French foods, but you can pretend you’re enjoying a relaxing afternoon at a Parisian bistro overlooking the Seine, while you munch this concoction of crisp bread, salty ham, and melty cheese.
What Does Croque Monsieur Mean?
The Croque Monsieur was initially introduced in 1910 by French cafes and bars as a quick snack for patrons. Croque comes from the verb “croquer”, meaning to crunch, and monsieur is the term used to address a man, “Mister”.
“Mister Crunchy” does make a pretty unique name for a sandwich.
How To Make A Croque Monsieur
Emmental or Gruyère cheeses are typically used in this epic grilled cheese. (Although you can substitute Swiss in a pinch.)
Dijon mustard gives a nice, slightly spicy bite that complements the cheese well. And, just a pinch of nutmeg brings out the subtle nuttiness of the cheese.
The sauce that tops the Croque Monsieur is a Béchamel, a white sauce made of butter, flour, and milk. For the purposes of this sandwich, we add a little nutmeg into the Béchamel. And, often the Béchamel will include some cheese as well, which gives it a nice golden color when broiled.
The Croque Monsieur is a classic French Ham and Cheese Sandwich. But, like everything French, they've taken it to the next level.
Yield: 2 sandwiches
- 1 ½ tsp salted butter
- 1 ½ tsp unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¼ c milk
- ½ tsp salt
- Pinch ground white pepper
- Pinch nutmeg
- 2-3 Tbsp Gruyère, Emmental, or Swiss cheese, shredded
- 4 thick slices French or Sourdough bread
- Dijon mustard
- 2 slices cooked ham
- 4 oz Gruyère, Emmental, or Swiss cheese, sliced
- Preheat your oven broiler to medium high.
- To make the Béchamel Sauce: In a small saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in flour and cook 1 min over medium-low heat. Add milk, slowly, whisking to incorporate the flour mixture evenly into the milk. Increase heat to medium and heat mixture, stirring constantly until thickened (2-3 min). Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Whisk in shredded cheese until melted and smooth. Remove sauce from heat.
- Place the 4 slices of bread on a baking sheet and broil for 2-3 minutes, until toasted. Remove bread from the oven.
- Spread a layer of Dijon mustard over the softer side of two of the slices of toast. Top each with a slice of ham and cheese. Return the two, topped, slices to the oven and broil 1-2 min until the cheese has melted.
- Top with a final slice of toasted bread, and cover each sandwich in Béchamel Sauce. Return the sandwiches to the oven, and broil 3-4 minutes, until sauce is bubbly and golden.
- Serve warm.