My first ever foray into the land of Croque Monsieur was years ago, in Monaco of all places. I was traveling around France with my then-boyfriend and we took the train for a day trip from nearby Villefranche-Sur-Mer.
After watching the Changing of the Guards – or Carabiniers du Prince – at Palais du Prince, and wandering through the State Apartments, I was famished! So much so that I shoved the nearest food into my mouth. Which unfortunately turned out to be Croque Monsieur from a snack stand. It was soggy and MICROWAVED and horrendous. Having never eaten them before, I was confused. Why do people rave about that? What is wrong with the world?
Thankfully I’ve since enjoyed Croque Monsieur several times and I’m happy to report that they have been delicious since!
Here’s a recipe for Mini Croque Monsieur that is sure to be an hit in your household too. Because, let’s be serious, who could resist something so cheesy and delicious?!
– 2 Tbsp butter
– 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
– 2 c hot milk
– 1 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
– Pinch nutmeg
– 12 oz Gruyere*, grated (5 c)
– 1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan
– 24 diagonally sliced pieces of baguette
– Dijon mustard
– 6 slices Black Forest ham, cut in half
* I found a Gruyere Cheddar at Trader Joe’s and love it in these sandwiches
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Melt butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes (look for the nutty aroma to know that the flour has cooked).
- 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 a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes, until toasted.
- Lightly brush each piece of toasted bread with Dijon, add an half-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.