Croque Monsieur – My way

I’ve been trying to get to France for over the last decade.  If I play my cards right, I’ll finally make it there next spring/summer.  In high school I took French, and fell in love with the language.  One of the first chapters was on food, and mentioned croque monsieurs along with l’orangeade and l’escargot.  I also learned the word for window which is fenêtre, which is the root of the word defenestrate – to throw (a person or thing) out of a window.  The more you know.

In honor of national grilled cheese month, I made croque monsieurs last weekend with my own twist. In case you don’t know, croque monsieurs are hot ham and cheese sandwiches topped with bechamel and more cheese.  I swapped in croissants for white sandwich bread and buddy it was good.  After nearly devouring the entire croque, my husband turned to me and said “this is totally unhealthy isn’t it?”  To which I replied “yeah, but it’s darn good.”  Bon appetit!

Croque Monsieurs

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa

Ingredients

  • 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
  • 8 croissants
  • Dijon
  • 8 ounces honey ham, sliced but not paper thin

Directions

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.

Halve and toast the croissants, place the slices on 2 baking sheets and bake for 4 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes, until toasted.

Lightly brush half the croissant 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.

More croques around the interwebs:

Croaked madame @Food for the Thoughtless

Brie croques @Framed Cooks

Croque monsieur @Simply Recipes

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About savuryandsweet

i heart scrabble and tetris. i think about food all day long.

78 comments

  1. Love it. Looks delish and super unhealthy in the best way.

  2. Aimee

    This looks like the very definition of buttery, flaky, cheesy deliciousness.
    Gorgeous photos. I just want to pick it up and eat the whole thing.
    And that’s saying something…since I don’t eat meat. :)

    • LOL I’m always thinking of ways to make things meatless and if there is sucha thing as veggie ham you should try this, otherwise it’s pretty good without it. I also recently made Pinch my Salt’s quiche and swapped in sliced mushrooms seasoned with bacon salt (yep it’s vegetarian-friendly) for the ham so that’s an option too!

  3. One of my favorite sandwiches to order at our local French restaurant – thanks for sharing!

  4. Anonymous

    Looks fantastic! I can’t wait to try the recipe. TFS!

  5. Reblogged this on JavaGirl's Life and commented:
    I am IN LOVE with this recipe. Found this recipe on Pinterest. I think I might just indulge a bit this weekend and make these. Thank you France for introducing the glorious croissants! ;) I had to reblog this post from saVUryandsweet.

  6. Reblogged this on thrivingonateachersincome and commented:
    Yum- this is ready to cook tonight! LOVE Croque Monsieur- can’t wait to try this recipe!

  7. Thanks for this recipe! Trying it tonight and I reblogged it too :o)

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  9. Marie

    When you get to Paris, have one every day!! I did!! Pop a fried egg on top and it is Croque Madame. DE-LISH!!

  10. CatChick

    Why not paper thin ham? We are a family of four on a tight budget and I can make 1/2 pound of shredded deli meat look like a ton. I’ve made these and they are delicious. I bought my croissants at Sam’s Club (they have huge croissants there). But the trick to the melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness of it all was the shredded (not sliced) ham. You’re not having to exert the pressure to bite through the meat so it stays together together nicely through the whole meal. Also, as if they weren’t fattening enough, before toasting, I lightly baste with a little REAL melted butter. As my teenage daughter says: Oh Em Gee!!!

  11. Anonymous

    Wow! These look fabulous – definitely not a health food, but I wouldn’t be choosing it if it were! Can’t wait to make them.

  12. This looks devine! My mouth is watering…and I just ate lunch!

  13. Anonymous

    Would grated Swiss cheese work instead of the Gruyere?

    • would work in a pinch – and for those averse to the smell of gruyere. BUT the taste will not compare to the real deal gruyere.

    • Gruyere actually IS a type of Swiss cheese. I find that PROCESSED Gruyere works a lot better if it needs to be melted. Regular Gruyere doesn’t melt well, but the processed stuff does . . . and I think it has a bit better flavor. Not so – um – harsh(?). More mellow. Try it. I think you’ll like it!

  14. I’ve made this recipe before but never thought to use croissants – genius!

  15. Jealith

    I’ve made these same things for years. Love croissants, who knew they had a fancy name, lol.

  16. Anonymous

    Looks so delish!

  17. Linda Laurin

    This dish is also popular in Quebec, Canada and they also serve it with sliced tomatoes on top of the ham followed with the cheese then placed under the grill, it is absolutely delicious.

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  21. Anonymous

    Just made these for lunch. Holy goodness!!!! My husband LOVED them!

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  24. A croque monsieur is one of the best and ‘soulfoodishest’ things you can eat and your pictures make me want one right now!

  25. Anonymous

    Try with emmentaler cheese…just like in Paris!

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  28. caroline

    I’m french and it’s not possible with croissant!!! with white bread yes!

  29. Gena

    Just checking to see if the blogger (Twirlandtaste) had permission to use your picture, or if she even referenced your blog. http://pinterest.com/pin/226939268694451820/. She took one of my pics and attached a totally different recipe. I confronted her and she changed the pic.

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  32. Terry

    Try emmentaler cheese rather than gruyere … It is is the cheese most often used in Paris… Puts it over the top! Nice recipe.

  33. Terry

    I do agree with Caroline however , croissants would make this too rich. Nice rustic white sliced and served open face.

  34. Michelle

    Can I make these with turkey? I do not like ham but these look delicious!!

  35. Snoox

    Try it with French toast

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  37. Can you make these the night before or will they get soggy??

    • good question. i think the mustard would seep too much into the bread and maybe the ham may make it soggy as well? worth a try on a practice run-through, but definitely not on a day the inlaws are in town :)

  38. I used 9 ounces of smoked Gruyere in the white sauce: inside the sandwich I put down the ham covering both sides of the croissant and put some of the sauce on the ham and closed it, then I put some of the sauce on top and topped it with Parmigiano Reggiano and toasted it.

  39. I guess I need to make this more clear. You are working with a croissant so you do not want to put anything on the inside touching the bread portion. I said I laid the ham across the both sides and put the sauce on the ham. It wouldn’t be a problem unless you want to use a knife and fork however you will lose the crispiness of the inside of the croissant.

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  43. Jessica

    Can these be frozen?

  44. sarah

    J’adore le croque monsieur!, mais Je remplacer le jambon pour la dinde.

  45. These were amazing!! Best thing I’ve eaten in months! Thanks!!

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  47. Lt

    What is groyer? Do u just get it at your local grocery store?

  48. Cynthia

    I lived in France and the Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame was my most favorite. The first time my friend , Philippe , made this for me the aroma while it was baking smelled like pastry. The secret to this fabulous sandwich was using the French butter. This butter is the best in the world and so is the bread! I had the Croque Madame many times for brunch. The ham is very different in Paris….does not taste salty. Never had it with parmesan or with any type of sauce……it was lovely just the way it was! Healthy? I ate well in France and never gained a pound!

  49. I’m doing all kinds of swooning right now, I need these in my life asap. Pinning – thanks!

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  51. Denise

    wonderful recipe, but was a little too cheesy for me. Might try again with slight modification

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  53. Marne

    Is SHAVED the same as SHREDDED?

  54. My mouth waters! – PINNED!

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  58. Cazare Turda

    I am no longer sure where you’re getting your information, but good topic.
    I needs to spend some time finding out much more or working out more.
    Thank you for great info I used to be on the lookout for this info for my mission.

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  60. Lesley Graves

    I love the plate! Where did you find it?

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