Recipe for a Classic Croque Monsieur Sandwich

August 26, 2020  |  By Peg Kern
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A view of the Eiffel Tower during our Paris wine tours.These days we’re all about comfort food at The International Kitchen, and there are few sandwiches more comforting than a classic Croque Monsieur! We’re using Richard’s favorite croque monsieur recipe today.

The classic croque monsieur sandwich has been around in French cafes for over a hundred years and always combines a delicious mixture of ham and cheese. But from there the preparations can vary. Sometimes it is grilled, sometimes baked, sometimes fried in a frying pan. It can be dipped in egg, smothered with cheese, or, as in this case, coated with bechamel sauce.

Dining outside at a French cafe during a cooking vacation in Paris.See all our culinary vacations in France.

If you add a lightly fried egg to the top, the sandwich becomes a croque madame. It is equally satisfying and incredibly hearty!


Did you know? Proust’s famous A la Richerche du Temps Perdu (In Search of Lost Time) includes a reference to a croque monsieur (along with “oeufs à la crème”)?


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A classic Croque Monsieur sandwich during a cooking vacation in France.

Croque Monsieur Sandwich

Adapted from Jake Cohen’s recipe (on the feedfeed website).

Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Cook method: Bake

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 thyme sprig or a pinch of dried thyme
  • 1 rosemary sprig or pinch of dried rosemary
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 8 slices hearty white bread
  • 3/4 pound of sliced ham
  • 1 Tbsp whole grain mustard

Learn more about our favorite comfort foods.

Delicious bread made during a cooking class with The International Kitchen.Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Make a bechamel sauce. First, melt the butter and then whisk in the flour, cooking it to form a roux and to remove the flavor of raw flour, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Gradually whisk in the whole milk. Add the garlic and herbs, and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until the sauce has thickened (5-8 minutes). Remove the sprigs and add the nutmeg, then half the cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cool slightly before assembling.
  4. Delicious ham enjoyed on a culinary tour with The International Kitchen.Spread some of the bechamel on both sides of each slice of bread. Place 4 slices on the baking sheet, then top with the ham. Spread a bit of mustard over the ham, then top with the remaining cheese, reserving a few tablespoons to sprinkle over the top of the sandwiches. Place the last 4 slices of bread on top, sprinkle the remaining cheese.
  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Enjoy!

Discover recipes using stale bread.

Search our blog for more chef interviews, recipes, and destinations features, including this other tasty sandwich recipe: Tartine Jardinière.

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