Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Croque Monsieur Ham and Cheese Sandwich

from Elise Simply Recipes

After months of being in awe of the multitude of cheeses available at the local market, I decided to try a few recipes that call for something different than cheddar, swiss or gouda.  These sandwiches have great flavor and are a great treat.   

2 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Flour
1 1/2 cups Milk
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
6 oz Gruyére Cheese, (about 1 1/2 cups grated)
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
8 Slices of French or Italian loaf bread
12 oz Ham, sliced
Dijon Mustard

Preheat the oven to 400.  First make what is called a Béchamel sauce:  Melt butter in a small saucepan on low heat until it starts to bubble.  Then stir in flour until smooth and cook for about 2 minutes.  Slowly add the milk, whisking continuously and cooking until thickened.  Remove from heat, add salt, pepper, nutmeg, Parmesan Cheese and about 1/4 cup Gruyére Cheese.  Combine and set aside.

Lay out the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast them a few minutes on each side (feel free to butter the bread for extra flavor)  Lightly brush mustard on each slice of bread on one side.  Add ham slices and sprinkle the Gruyére, topping off with the other slice of bread.  Lastly, spoon the Béchamel sauce to the tops of the sandwiches.  Sprinkle whatever remaining cheese on top and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes, then turn on the broiler and broil for another 3-5 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and browned.  

Makes 4 sandwiches

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