Croque Monsieur

Croque Monsieur

 Kristina Vanni

  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings
  • Yields: 4 sandwiches
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
526 Calories
41g Fat
8g Carbs
31g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 526
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 41g 53%
Saturated Fat 24g 118%
Cholesterol 140mg 47%
Sodium 1074mg 47%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 31g
Calcium 855mg 66%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The croque monsieur is a classic French sandwich made with ham and cheese. The dish was invented in a Parisian bistro back in 1910 and has become a staple on French menus ever since. The name comes from the verb croquer meaning "to bite" or "to crunch" and the word monseiur meaning "mister."

While one may feel tres chic while enjoying this traditional dish, it is actually quite easy to prepare. Ham and cheese are layered with a decadent bechamel sauce between slices of French bread. The sandwich is cooked under a broiler until the cheese is browned and bubbly. This is the perfect recipe to repurpose leftover ham into the ultimate cheesy sandwich.

This rich and savory dish is best when enjoyed with a knife and fork. Of course, it also pairs perfectly with a glass of your favorite French wine.

Ingredients

  • For the Béchamel:
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • For the Sandwich:
  • 8 (1/2-inch thick) slices country-style French bread
  • 8 slices ham (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Gruyère cheese
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat oven to 425 F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

    Croque Monsieur
     Kristina Vanni
  2. Start by preparing the béchamel sauce. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until foamy. Add the flour and cook, stirring, until mixture is pale and foamy, about 3 minutes.

    Croque Monsieur
     Kristina Vanni
  3. Gradually add the milk, stirring until mixture is smooth. Cook, stirring, until sauce is thick and somewhat elastic, about 4 minutes.

    Croque Monsieur
     Kristina Vanni
  4. Remove from the heat and whisk in the Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and nutmeg. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

    Croque Monsieur
     Kristina Vanni
  5. To assemble the croque monsieur, place four slices of the bread on the prepared baking sheet. Spread these bread slices with half of the béchamel sauce.

    Croque Monsieur
     Kristina Vanni
  6. Top each slice of bread with the ham and half of the Gruyere cheese.

    Croque Monsieur
     Kristina Vanni
  7. Top with the remaining four slices of bread and cover each of them with the remaining béchamel sauce.

    Croque Monsieur
     Kristina Vanni
  8. Top with the remaining Gruyere cheese and sprinkle with herbes de Provence, if desired. Bake until cheese is brown and bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes.

    Croque Monsieur
     Kristina Vanni
  9. Enjoy warm.

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.

Recipe Variations

  • Easy Croque Monsieur: If time is short, an easier version of croque monsieur can be made by omitting the homemade bechamel, and simply spreading mustard on the inside bread slices and topping with crème fraiche and cheese before broiling.
  • Make Ahead Croque Monsieur: The béchamel can be made one day ahead and stored in the refrigerator with a piece of plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface. The sandwiches can be assembled, but not baked, up to one day ahead. The should then be covered and chilled until ready to bake.
  • Croque Madame: Adding a fried egg on top of a croque monsieur transforms it into a croque madame. The name comes from the egg resembling a woman's hat from the 1960's.