Thursday, April 23, 2009

Croque Monsieur -- Barefoot Bloggers

Thank you to Kathy of All Food Considered, who picked Ina's Croque Monsieur as our second Barefoot Bloggers recipe for April. Croque Monsieur is pretty much a French style ham and cheese sandwich. I looked around on the internet to see if there were any vegetarian versions and got ideas to just leave out the ham and make three versions of this sandwich (really just adding an extra ingredient)...apparently a Croque Provençal adds an herbed mayonnaise and tomato, and a Croque Hawaii adds pineapple, how fun! I am a huge pineapple fan and when I google image searched a Croque Hawaii and saw a photo of one with a cute little maraschino cherry on top I just had to add that to mine :) If the pineapple and cheese combo sounds a little off to you, think pineapple on a cheesy pizza.

I made two loaves of our favorite French bread recipe to use for these sandwiches, which turned out really well. I halved the recipe and had three large sandwiches.

Ina Garten's Croque Monsieur

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch nutmeg
12 ounces Gruyere, grated (5 cups)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
16 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
Dijon mustard
8 ounces baked Virginia ham, sliced but not paper thin

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere, and the Parmesan and set aside.

To toast the bread, place the slices on 2 baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes, until toasted.

Lightly brush half the toasted breads with mustard, add a slice of ham to each, and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyere. Top with another piece of toasted bread.
Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes.
Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned. Serve hot.

Results: These were one of the richest foods I've ever tasted. I could barely eat one half of a sandwich. They were delicious but oh my goodness, just so rich! I had heard of Croque Monsieur sandwiches before but never had one because they are usually served with ham. I was happy to finally give this decadent lunch treat a try, and really like the pineapple and tomato additions and love any excuse to buy gruyere.


Megan said...

Holy Gruyere Batman! That IS a lot of cheese. Even for me - and I love cheese.

Love the pic with the cherry on top - it looks like it's ready for a party!

Michele said...

This looks fantastic! I love all the photos.

Suzie said...

Your croques look very cute - but I agree with you. I think I need a cardiologist in the room before I could tackle another one!

chocolatechic said...

Your sandwiches look fabulous!

I think next time I'm gonna add a bit of onion and apple to the inside of my sandwich.

Penny said...

What a unique take on this sandwich! Love the cherry on top.

Kim said...

The pineapple and cherry is messing with my head. Is it a sandwich or upside down cake!? ;)

Natashya said...

Those do look rich and tasty! Who knew there were so many variations?

Leslie said...

This does look extremely cheesy, but we love cheese so it was a hit here. I made mine with turkey since I don't eat ham. I bet it was great with the pineapple and tomato!

Debinhawaii said...

The pineapple one is so cute! I thought about avocado but ended up with turkey instead of ham.

EmmyJMommy said...

What a great version! It is lovely, and I bet it was terrific!

Elyse said...

I'm not the biggest ham fan, so your croque provencal and croque hawaii sound AMAZING. I love pineapple and cheese. Two favorites come to mind: pineapple casserole (YUM) and pineapple on pizza. Can't wait to try it on this sandwich now!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I like the tomato! Maybe next time I can just make an open faced sandwich, some tomato and a sprinkling of cheese. Wait... that's a pizza. Scratch that.


Our Family said...

Your recipe looks much better than the recipe I tried a while ago. I am not too familiar with my broiler so mine all of a sudden were too done and dry, putting the sauce on top saved the one I tried that on. I haven't checked your blog in a while and have missed it. It was good to be back.

superman said...

they looks so beautiful and perfect! I really love the cherry it was so cute...

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