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!
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa
- 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
- 8 ounces honey 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.
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
Croque monsieur @Simply Recipes
Love it. Looks delish and super unhealthy in the best way.
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!
The stuff of vegans’ nightmares.
One of my favorite sandwiches to order at our local French restaurant – thanks for sharing!
Looks fantastic! I can’t wait to try the recipe. TFS!
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.
Reblogged this on thrivingonateachersincome and commented:
Yum- this is ready to cook tonight! LOVE Croque Monsieur- can’t wait to try this recipe!
Thanks for this recipe! Trying it tonight and I reblogged it too :o)
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When you get to Paris, have one every day!! I did!! Pop a fried egg on top and it is Croque Madame. DE-LISH!!
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!!!
sweet! thanks for the tips 🙂
I agree with the shredded ham! When I go to the Deli, I have all my meat shredded, it tastes much better and goes a lot further.
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.
This looks devine! My mouth is watering…and I just ate lunch!
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!
I’ve made this recipe before but never thought to use croissants – genius!
I’ve made these same things for years. Love croissants, who knew they had a fancy name, lol.
Looks so delish!
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.
gahhh I’ve been looking for the name of this sandwich for the past hour & can’t find anything on it’s existence. I remember it vaguely being along the lines of “Royal Canadian”
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Reblogged this on Vanwes’s Blog.
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Just made these for lunch. Holy goodness!!!! My husband LOVED them!
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A croque monsieur is one of the best and ‘soulfoodishest’ things you can eat and your pictures make me want one right now!
Try with emmentaler cheese…just like in Paris!
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I’m french and it’s not possible with croissant!!! with white bread yes!
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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Try emmentaler cheese rather than gruyere … It is is the cheese most often used in Paris… Puts it over the top! Nice recipe.
thanks. i do love the tang that gruyere lends to the sauce. will try the emmentaler 🙂
I do agree with Caroline however , croissants would make this too rich. Nice rustic white sliced and served open face.
Can I make these with turkey? I do not like ham but these look delicious!!
i say why not! 🙂
Try it with French toast
monte cristos! YUM P:
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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 🙂
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.
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.
Toast croissant halves, assemble (with no sauce inside), broil, devour immediately. I think that would fix the inside crispiness problem 🙂
yes, the sauce isn’t an option for me! just give me the ham and cheese!
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Excellent! Made these the other night!
Can these be frozen?
I’ve never attempted – I imagine they won’t be good as freshly made, will probably get soggy.
J’adore le croque monsieur!, mais Je remplacer le jambon pour la dinde.
moi aussi! comment va la dinde?
These were amazing!! Best thing I’ve eaten in months! Thanks!!
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What is groyer? Do u just get it at your local grocery store?
Gruyere is a pungent swiss cheese. Yes you should be able to find it in the cheese section. For more info check out wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gruy%C3%A8re_cheese
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!
I’m doing all kinds of swooning right now, I need these in my life asap. Pinning – thanks!
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wonderful recipe, but was a little too cheesy for me. Might try again with slight modification
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Is SHAVED the same as SHREDDED?
grate question 😉 (pun intended). no, shaving is involves slicing something into thin sheets, whereas shredding results in smaller shards – think shaved ham, and shredded cheese. this led me to ponder grating vs shredding and this link here was eye opening http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070110022203AAEWdkS
My mouth waters! – PINNED!
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I love the plate! Where did you find it?
homegoods! i practically live there
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Je finirɑi de voir ça demain
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This looks sooo good. Because I love crossaints I’m going to try it this way. My goal in life is to vacation in Paris and have one at a fancy restaurant :)-
TOTALLY Ina Gardner’s recipe. Sooo It’s not your way at all
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Great !! I’m French, and in France this recipe is called “croissants au jambon”! We don’t use Parmesan in traditional croisants au jambon, but I’ll try, it’s probably delicious!!
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Looks soo good!! Can’t wait to make these!!!
These are super good! Everyone loved them! They are a new favorite. I used mini croissants. I will be making these for every brunch.
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Delicious! This is what I made with the last of our Christmas ham. Sooo good! The only change I’d make for myself is to reduce the salt. But we truly enjoyed this dish!
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