This classic French sandwich is a great at any time of day. Serve the traditional Croque Monsieur at lunch or dinner with a salad or serve it at breakfast and brunch Croque Madame style- topped with a freshly fried egg. Simply take a bite out of this tasty sandwich and you will feel like you are in a bistro in Paris!
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 10 minutes | Total Time: 20 minutes
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 4 slices good-quality deli ham
- 1 cup gruyere cheese, grated (or Jarlsberg or Emmental works well here too!)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
For a Croque Monsieur:
Begin by making your béchamel sauce. Heat a small sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of butter, then add the flour. Use a whisk to combine the butter and flour. Let the mixture cook for a minute on the stove so that the raw flour taste has cooked out. Next, slowly add the milk to the pot and use a whisk to combine. Cook over medium-high until it starts to simmer and thicken. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg and then set aside to cool.
Lay your slices of bread on a parchment lined baking sheet. Butter one side of each piece of bread and flip over one piece of bread per sandwich. On the unbuttered side, spread ½ teaspoon of Dijon mustard top with 2 tablespoons of béchamel sauce. Add 2 slices of ham per sandwich along with a light sprinkling (about 1 tablespoon) of the cheese. Top with the other slice of bread, butter side up.
Next, heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add your sandwiches to the pan and cook on each side for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. It’s just like making grilled cheese. Once the bread is golden brown on each side, remove them from the pan and place them on the baking sheet.
Spread about 2 tablespoons of béchamel sauce on top of the sandwich and top with as much cheese as you like. I like to have lots of cheese on this sandwich, so I use about 1/3 cup per sandwich.
Place your sandwiches in the oven under the broiler until your cheese has all melted and has become golden brown. Transfer these sandwiches to a plate and serve warm.
For a Croque Madame:
Follow the steps above to make a Croque Monsieur. Fry an egg in the frying pan (sunny side up) and top the sandwich with the fried egg. Voila- you have a Croque Madame!