Croque Monsieur

The count down is on to my first ever trip to France. I’ve been dreaming of this my whole life and I can’t wait!! I’m brushing up on some French inspired gastronomy as I will be gladly cooking for my besties in the gorgeous Provençal villa we are renting. Everyone loves grilled cheese sandwiches, and if you’ve never tried a Croque before …. it’s grilled cheese x 1000. Only the French would add rich bechamel on top of a perfectly good thing to take it way over the edge….. and of course it’s the most outrageously delicious treat. You can sub the sour dough for any dense bread you like. Add more ham, omit the ham or sub it with smoked turkey. Do whatever you please, to it as long as you keep the bread, gruyere and bechamel.

6 slices sour dough bread buttered on both sides*

2 tbsp butter

4 tbsp flour

Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

2 1/4 cups gruyere cheese grated

9-12 slices smoked deli ham

Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon

Quick Bechamel

On medium heat melt butter in a small sauce pan. Whisk in flour until it comes together into a roux. Add the milk in 1/2 cup at a time whisking to thicken before adding next bit of milk. When the entire mixture starts to thicken turn off heat. Stir in freshly grated nutmeg, salt, 1/2 teaspoon Dijon and 1/4 cup of shredded gruyere. Set aside

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

Lay half of your buttered bread slices on the pan. Spread a very thin layer of Dijon on each slice. Sprinkle each slice with approximately 1/3 cup of cheese, top with 3 or more slices of ham and another 1/3 cup of cheese. Place remaining buttered slices on top of the sandwiches.

Bake for 10 minutes, flipping them after 5 minutes.

Remove baking sheet from oven. Turn on broiler. Cover the top of each sandwich with enough bechamel to cover ( approximately 1/2 cup) . Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Pop back into the oven for 7-10 minutes until top is golden brown and bubbly. * once it goes under the broiler keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.

*I used a round sourdough loaf so the slices were quite large. This would yield 6 average sized sandwiches.

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