It felt appropriate to share with you a cheesy, French food after reviewing two Eiffel Tower shaped cheese graters. It had been a long time since I had enjoyed a Croque Monsieur, but now after practically licking my plate clean after this one I don’t think I’ll wait so long until I make them again.
I first turned to Ina Garten’s recipe when looking for a guide. After reviewing it I continued to look for others and found a surprise. Quite a few blogs claim this recipe to be their own, even though the ingredients, methods and wording are exactly the same. Makes 8 sandwiches.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 12 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (5 cups)
- 1/2cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 16 slices white sandwich bread
- Dijon mustard
- 8 ounces baked Virginia ham, sliced but not paper thin
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the milk and whisk it constantly until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, ½ cup grated Gruyère, and the Parmesan and set aside.
To toast the bread, place the slices on two 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 Gruyère. Top with another piece of toasted bread. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyère, 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.