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Monday, January 4, 2016

Croque Monsieur

Croque Monsieurs are basically just fancy, french, grilled ham and cheese sandwiches.  Basically... but in reality they are so, so much more!

Really I'm going to admonish my own self a tad for saying that... because Bechamel sauce.


Anything with Bechamel can NOT be basic.

What Croque Monsieurs are ACTUALLY, are grilled french white artisanal bread, piled high with alternating layers of cheese, ham and bechamel sauce, and then baked in the oven until delightfully gooey and deliciously golden.


First up, the bechamel sauce.

Start with a simple roux.

Then make it a white sauce.  Add heated milk or cream.

Add some spices to it.

Nutmeg is nice.

But mustard is magic.


At this point we turn the sauce into what is called a Mornay sauce, but it's basically just Bechamel with cheese.  

In this case, gruyere cheese.


Next comes the sammich makin'.

Slice the bread thickly.

And then brush it with butter and bake in the oven for a few minutes until golden.  Do this for both sides.

Next, pour a generous amount of the Bechamel on half of the bread.

Then start layering.

Ham, and then cheese, bechamel, bread, and then more bechamel.  :)

I chose emmental for my cheese.

Sliced and ready to layer.

My bread was pretty short, so I chose to go triple-decker with these.

That is an impressive stack of heart disease right there.  :D


In fact, it was stacked so impressively high, I needed to stabilize them with some skewers for baking!!


Oh, and I grated a tiny bit more gruyere on top just for an extra bit of gold flava.

Baking is tricky.  You want to bake long enough that the cheese melts, but you'll probably want to finish them off under the broiler so that the tops get golden brown.

Soooo gooey.

Because this made me feel guilty that I should maybe at least pretend to include a green vegetable, I made some peas too.

Pity peas.

Heh heh heh

But there's something delicious about a good grilled french sandwich and some peas.

Especially since I can put a bit of bechamel on them as well.

Why not?

I said 'pretend', didn't I?

Anyway, this shit is so freaking good.  If you've never had one, go do it.  I also quite enjoy the Croque Madame which includes egg.  Therefore, nutritious breakfast.  Duh!

So damn pretty.