We first had this in Paris, France at Fouquet on the Champs d’Elysee and subsequently in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico at the wonderful Merci Restaurant. Merci is better with their homemade bread! Trust me! Below is the version I use at home.
A Croque-Monsieur is the French answer to the grilled cheese sandwich. Gruyere cheese, ham, and bread are topped with a creamy Béchamel sauce.
Preparation Time: 7 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Total time: 12 minutes
8 slices whole wheat bread
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon sweet paprika
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Dijon mustard for spreading
4 slices ham
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (you can also use Emmenthal or other Swiss-style cheese)
OPTIONAL – 4 eggs
Toast the bread until lightly browned on one side.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk until thick and bubbly. Gradually whisk in the milk, until the sauce is smooth and thickened. Whisk in the paprika. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep the sauce warm while your assemble the sandwiches.
Lay four slices of bread, toasted side down on a broiler pan. Brush each one with Dijon mustard, to taste. Lay one slice of ham on each piece . Divide 1/2 cup cheese among the four sandwiches. Top with the second slice of bread, toastier side up. Divide the sauce among the four sandwiches, spreading it over the top. Add one fried egg per sandwich. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the sandwiches.
Broil until the cheese is melted and the tops are bubbly and brown, five minutes or more in my toaster oven. Watch it carefully; yours may be different. Serve immediately.
I like to serve it with a small salad or grilled asparagus.
Link to recipe: http://goodcheapeats.com/2015/02/how-to-make-a-croque-monsieur/
When our kids were small, we used to make this recipe from the Best of Bridge http://www.bestofbridge.com/ cookbook. It was easy to prepare the night before and then just put in the oven while opening presents. Not sure saying wife saver is politically correct these days, but here it is –
Christmas Morning Wife Saver
prep time: 20 minutes Total time: 1 hour and 20 minutes Serves 8
- 16 slices white bread, crusts removed
- slices of Canadian back bacon or ham
- slices of sharp cheddar cheese
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/2-1 tsp. dry mustard
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
- 1-2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 3 cups milk
- dash Tabasco
- 1/4 lb. butter
- special “K” or crushed cornflakes
Put 8 pieces of bread in a 9×13 buttered glass baking dish. Add pieces to cover dish entirely. Cover bread with thinly sliced Canadian style bacon. Top with slices of cheddar cheese. Cover with slices of bread. In a bowl, beat eggs and pepper. Add mustard, onion, green pepper, Worcestershire, milk and Tabasco. Pour over bread, cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, melt butter and pour over top. Cover with crushed special “K” or cornflakes. Bake at 350 F uncovered, 1 hour. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.
I know I just posted that chicken recipe, but with this being Easter, it brought back memories of this great dish that Gloria made as a side to the ham. The recipe came from an old magazine called “Taste of Home”. You can vary the fruits. I sometimes have used apricots in place of the pears. And then sometimes I leave out the cherries entirely. Choose your favorite fruits. Why not add some fresh figs?
Curried Fruit Sauce for Ham
- Prep: 20 min. Bake: 30 min.
- Yield: 20 Servings
- 1/2 cup butter, cubed
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 to 3 teaspoons curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 can (20 ounces) pineapple tidbits, drained I substituted fresh mango!
- 1 can (15 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained
- 1 can (8-1/2 ounces) sliced peaches, drained and chopped
- 1 can (8-1/2 ounces) sliced pears, drained and chopped
- 12 maraschino cherries, halved
- In a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in the brown sugar, curry powder and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. In a lightly greased 2-qt. baking dish, combine the fruit; mix well. Pour sauce over the mixed fruit. Bake, uncovered, at 300° for 30 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 5 cups.