Monday, March 16, 2009

Croque Monsieur

My recent trip to Paris was so jam packed full of work that I missed out on having my French staple: the Croque Monsieur- so I had to remedy the situation as soon as possible. I decided to use an old contraption I had grabbed out of my mom's garage- a contraption I wrongly assumed was an antique croque monsieur maker. After several failed yet delicious attempts, I'm gonna just have to accept that this might just be an antique panini maker.

Start by making a Bechamel Sauce. Mine was a little lumpy...didn't whisk hard enough!

Shaping the bread to fit

It's easiest to snap it shut and cut around the edges.

Bechamel sauce, shredded Gruyere, whole wheat bread and bacon. Ain't nothing wrong here!

Croque Monsieur

From this recipe by Ina Garten

When making this recipe, I halved it and (to my boyfriend's dismay) used bacon instead of Virginia Ham. It was still quite tasty.

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups hot milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 12 ounces Gruyere, grated (5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 16 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
  • Dijon mustard
  • 8 ounces baked Virginia ham, sliced but not paper thin

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere, and the Parmesan and set aside.
To toast the bread, place the slices on 2 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 Gruyere. Top with another piece of toasted bread. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere, 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.

Délicieux !