Now, you know the Accidental Locavore has written a lot about croque Monsieurs and has certainly eaten her fair share of them (it’s my personal quest, you know), however, I’ve never actually made one until recently. There are a couple of reasons for that: one is that we almost never have white sandwich bread on hand and its always seemed like more work than necessary to make a mornay sauce for a sandwich or two. So what changed my mind? I was fooling around with another recipe from Rachel Khoo’s book for a croque Madame “muffin” (more about all that in a later post) and had the ingredients on hand. And there was leftover mornay sauce! This is how I made my croque:
- 2 slices good white bread
- 2-3 thin slices of ham
- 1/3 cup grated gruyere (mixed use)
- 1 tablespoon butter (softened)
- 1/4 cup mornay sauce
- Cornichons and a sharp Dijon Mustard for serving
Preheat the broiler. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat, add half the butter to the pan. While the pan is heating and the butter is melting, construct your sandwich with the ham and most of the cheese (2/3). Spread the remaining butter on the top of the sandwich. Cook the sandwich in the pan, turning when the bread is golden (about 5 minutes) and continue cooking until the cheese has melted (about another 3-4 minutes). Remove the sandwich from the pan, place on a sheet of aluminum foil or an oven-proof tray. Spread the mornay sauce over the top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Broil until the sauce is bubbly, the cheese has melted and is starting to brown. Serve and enjoy!
My verdict: It was delicious and you might see more good white bread in my kitchen than is probably good for me! I did it like a regular grilled cheese and then topped it and broiled it-not sure if that’s the authentic way of doing it. Sometimes the mornay sauce is under the bread, but then it doesn’t brown. I also like mine with the smallest amount of a really sharp Dijon mustard added to every bite. I say this because some recipes have you add it to the sandwich, but I prefer to be the master of my mustard. Because this is a simple sandwich, all the ingredients should be the best you can find. I used a Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse White loaf and it was pretty good for commercial bread. Now, off to Murray’s for some really good ham and gruyere!