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Food & Travel

Croque monsieur

August 11, 2010

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Serves 4

Croque monsieur, the French toasted ham and cheese sandwich, is sometimes covered with a Mornay (cheese) sauce, which is heated until the sauce turns golden, as it is here.

SAUCE

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup whole milk
Salt and white pepper, to taste
Pinch grated nutmeg
1 egg yolk
2 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
1. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Gradually whisk in the milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes.

2. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Whisk in the yolk.

3. Return the sauce to the heat and whisk over very low heat for 30 seconds. Whisk in the Gruyere. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Cover and set aside.

SANDWICHES

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 slices toasting bread
14 ounces Gruyere cheese, coarsely grated
8 slices good quality ham
1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Have on hand a large rimmed baking sheet.

2. Butter 4 slices of bread and set them on the sheet. Reserve 4 tablespoons of Gruyere for the topping. Add a sprinkle of cheese to each piece of bread, then 1 slice of ham, another sprinkle of cheese.

3. Lightly butter the remaining 4 slices of bread. Set them buttered sides up on the sandwiches. Bake for 10 minutes, watching them carefully, until the top is lightly browned and the cheese is melted at the edges.

4. Divide the sauce among the sandwiches, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

5. Turn the oven to the broiler setting.

6. Slide the baking sheet under the broiler. Broil for 1 minute, turning the sheet once, or until the cheese melts and turns golden.

Ann Trieger. Adapted from PB Boulangerie Bistro

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