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Recipe for Croque Monsieur

recipe-croqueThis is a truly luxurious Monte's Ham and Cheese sandwich. Invented in France, roughly translated a "Croque Monsieur" means "Mister Crunchy". Using Challah or Brioche bread ups the richness quotient here. Monte's Ham Original Glaze gives it an extra kick. By all means serve this with a green salad of some kind and you've got a perfect brunch dish, a wonderfully special lunch or an easy dinner. The whole thing can have you in and out of the kitchen in 30 minutes. Here's the recipe:

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 Parmagiano cheese.
8 slices of Challah or Brioche bread
Monte's Ham Original Glaze
8 ounces Monte's Ham, sliced.

Directions:  
     
1 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
     
2

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Heat the milk in a small saucepan. Melt the butter over low heat in a small saute pan 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 slightly. Take the sauce off the heat. Then add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere, and the Parmagiano cheese and set aside.
     
3

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Toast the bread by placing the slices on 2 baking sheets and baking them in the oven for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes, until toasted.
     
4

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Lightly brush half the toasted breads with Monte's Ham Original Glaze, top each with a slice of Monte's ham and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyere. (You can use individual gratin dishes for this or you can use a baking sheet.) Top with another piece of toasted bread.
     
5

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Spoon the sauce over the top of the bread, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, watching carefully to make sure the topping is bubbly and lightly browned, not burned. Serve hot.