Croque Monsieur: French Grilled Cheese by Mom De Cuisine
Every new place we go, we have preconceived notions of what it will be like. Some of it based on research, some based on hearsay from others, some based off of what you see on tv or movies. Our time in Paris was no exception. We thought/were told the French are curt (or rude by American cultural standards). We thought Paris would be somewhat one note:old French buildings and museums. It wasn’t. It was a melting pot of people, cultures, food, and architecture. The food-from the formal and classic to the modern and chic, somewhat was unexpected. When one thinks of dining in Paris, one may think of fancy restaurants with stuffy waiters. And yes, I’m sure those do exist. However, we were surprised by the casualness of dining. From long lunches at simple street cafes to the myriad of food stands dotting the city and their friendly purveyors. With kids in tow snacking on street food while navigating busy streets wasn’t really feasible, but it didn’t stop us from looking. Time after time, the tastiest culinary street food always seem to be Croque Monsieurs, or the French version of a grilled ham and cheese. And after many of our misconceptions about the France and her most popular city were put to bed, one thing is still true in my mind: her food and people are effortlessly chic while remaining approachably delicious!
Croque Monsieur: French Grilled Cheese Recipe
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Meal type Bread, Lunch, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable
Occasion Valentines day
- 1 Large Loaf Crusty Bread (unsliced)
- 1lb Deli Ham
- 1/2lb Sliced Gryuere Cheese
- 1/2 cup Grainy Mustard (plus more for serving)
- 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 3 sprigs Fresh Thyme (Plus more for Garnish)
- 3 tablespoons All Purpose Flour
- 1 cup Milk
- 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
- salt/black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degree. Cut the very top crust off of the bread and slice horizontally.
Evenly spread the mustard along both the top and bottom crusts. Spread ham sliced along bottom crust and top with sliced cheese.
Place sandwich on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted, about 5-8 minutes. Keep an eye on it to make sure the bread doesn’t burn.
While bread is toasting, make the béchamel sauce. Melt butter over medium heat. Add the thyme sprigs and cook 30 seconds longer.
Add flour to the butter and whisk 1 minute. Slowly pour in the milk and continue whisking until a thick sauce has formed.
Add parmesan cheese and taste for seasoning. Add pepper and salt if desired.
Remove sandwich from the oven. Place the top slice on the ham and cheese slice. Evenly spread béchamel sauce on the sandwich.
Turn the oven to broil and place sandwich in to cook 2-3 minutes longer, or until the top is browned and bubbly.
Remove from the oven and allow the sandwich to cool 5 minutes before slicing.
Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs and serve with additional mustard.
Because this recipe is so simple, it is best to use the best quality ingredients available. It will make the difference of an average sandwich to an outstanding one!