Croque Monsieur (with Tartine Bread)
I’m lost. Freedom is odd. I don’t like being idle, and I kept myself accordingly busy throughout highschool, college, and law school. Even during my time off between, I’d spend 4-5 days a week playing volleyball in the evenings after work.
Now I’m at a loss. My life was completely consumed the past few months (nay, past three years!), and now that it has all abruptly come to an end, I kind of don’t know what to do with myself.
It’s not like I built up much of a life outside of law school– most hobbies/interests/people fell by the wayside. Now that I have time, I want to go back, but I’m not really sure where to start. (Aside from the perpetual job hunt, of course.)
One of the things I promised myself I’d do was learn some French (Parlez-vous français? Je ne parle pas français.). Another is to update this blog more often. And what better way to do it than a post about a French classic? Croque Monsieur! That, plus I had crusty bread from Tartine that I had bought the day before. What could be more perfect?
The Croque Monsieur is a French ham and cheese sandwich that has just enough kick to give it that extra edge and make you want to eat it all day, every day. P and I made it when were staying in Paris. It’s been a while, but I was due to make it again, stateside.
The recipe, as adapted from Simply Recipes, is as follows:
- 1/2 Tbsp flour
- 1/2 Tbsp butter
- 3/8 cup milk (think 1/4 cup + half of 1/4 cup)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1-1/2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese (plus a little extra, for the sprinkle at the end of the sandwich)
- 2 slices of bread
- 2 slices of thick cut ham
- dijon mustard
- First, preheat an oven (or, in my case, a toaster oven) to 400ºF.
- Then, make the béchamel sauce.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan on medium low. Add the flour while stirring to make sure there are no clumps. Then add the milk and cayenne pepper.
- Remove from heat, and stir in 3/4 of the Gruyere or Swiss cheese as well as the Parmesan cheese. The sauce should be thick but not clumpy (or clumping).
- Then, prepare the sandwich.
- Lay out the two slices of bread in the oven and toast until lightly browned. Remove the bread from the oven, and spread a layer of dijon mustard on each slice.
- Add the ham, and spread the remaining Gruyere or Swiss cheese on the bread (add some more, if necessary). Top the sandwich with the other toasted slice of bread.
- Spread the béchamel sauce generously on top of the sandwich, and sprinkle the remaining Gruyere or Swiss cheese on top.
- Return the sandwich to the oven. Let it sit for 4 minutes, and then turn on the broiler for 3-5 minutes, or until browning on top.
- Remove, allow to cool slightly, and bite in!
**Note: if you top this with an egg, it becomes a Croque Madame!
Filed under: France, photography, Recipes, Travel | 4 Comments
Tags: Croque Madame, Croque Monsieur, Food, France, Freedom, gruyere, hame and cheese, Paris, parmesan, recipe, sandwich, swiss, tartine