A Week In Paris, Part II of III: Croque Monsieur

Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe

“Why do you keep saying ‘Sir?'”

“I’m not.  I’m ordering a ham sandwich.  I think.”

Apparently, I should have spent a little more time with the French language app I downloaded before my trip to Paris.  Oops.

Today’s dish is croque monsieur, which translates roughly as “the best ham sandwich you’ve ever tasted.”  (OK, I may have taken a bit of liberty there.  Back to the language app…)  This is not the ham sandwich found in your American lunchbox, folks.  No, this is how the French do lunch.  Prepare to be dazzled.

~

View from top of Arc de Triomphe

View from top of Arc de Triomphe

Ingredients (makes 4 hearty sandwiches)

8 slices of good quality white bread

8 ounces gruyere cheese, freshly grated

12 ounces thick sliced ham

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon flour

picture2973/4 cup hot (not boiled) milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon allspice

picture298Directions

Prepare your white sauce:

Step 1) Melt butter in saucepan.  Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and allspice.  Cook over low heat for two minutes with constant stirring until mixture is a blonde color.

picture301Step 2) Add hot milk and stir over low heat for 1-2 minutes until thickened.  Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup of grated gruyere.  Set aside.

Assemble your sandwiches:

Step 3) Toast 8 slices of bread in the oven.

picture299Step 4) Spread 1 tablespoon of white sauce on each of 4 slices of toasted bread.  Layer with equal portions of ham and half of the grated gruyere.

Step 5) Top each sandwich with a second piece of bread.  Spread white sauce (thick!) on top of each sandwich, and smother with remaining gruyere.

picture304Step 6) Bake sandwiches at 350 degrees for 6 – 8 minutes, or until the cheese inside of the sandwiches is melted.  Switch oven to broil for 1 or 2 minutes, to bubble and brown the tops of your croque monsieur.

Bon Appetit!

5 thoughts on “A Week In Paris, Part II of III: Croque Monsieur

  1. That looks amazing.

    And yeah, french… I took that for years, and I wish I remembered more of it. What I actually remember from the class is all the words I made up on tests. Like when I said a stapler was “stapier”. Yep.

  2. I would never, ever eat a ham sandwich. I’d rather go hungry. But a Mr. Croque (as I think of it) is NOT a ham sandwich. I would eat one of those even if I wasn’t very hungry.

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