Nothing makes me feel more French (sometimes I DO want to feel French, don’t you? Oui? Non?) than a classic Croque Monsieur. The bechamel sauce that elevates this humble ham and cheese is a cinch to make, and you’ve probably already got the ingredients on hand. You can swap out the fontina and gruyere for any kind of melty cheese. I put some sharp cheddar over the top once so it wasn’t the crazy departure from the norm for my better half, and it was delicious that way too. I have such a crush on the tango of textures in this sammie. Crisp, melty, a bite of mustard, salty ham, and lots of cheese. J’adore!
- One large baguette, sliced into 16 pieces
- 8 slices fontina
- 2 cups shredded gruyere
- 16 slices of thick-cut ham
- 4 TBS butter
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 TBS stone ground mustard or Grey Poupon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Make the bechamel: In a skillet, melt the butter. Sprinkle half the flour over the surface and whisk together until combined. Whisk in the other half to form a paste.
Remove from heat and whisk in the mustard, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Set aside
Assemble the sandwiches: Spread the bechamel sauce on the top of one slice of baguette, working it all the way to the edges. Don’t be stingy! Top with one slice of ham and the fontina. Add another slice of ham. Take a second slice of bread and generously spread more sauce on it’s top. Place it on top of the ham and fontina. Pile on some gruyere. Repeat until you have 8 sandwiches.
Pop them into the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melty and scrumptiously oozing out the middle and down the sides. If you want to turn on the broiler for an extra two minutes, by all means 🙂 Ooh la la, that’s a sexy sandwich! Garnish with a little fresh parsley if your heart desires. Serve hot with a beautiful salad on the side.
Click above for the handy printable!