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a croque monsieur sandwich on a plate cut in a half with a fork holding a bite.
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5 from 1 vote

Croque Monsieur

In this classic French Croque Monsieur, melted Gruyere and savory black forest ham are smothered with silky white bechamel sauce, a touch of Dijon, and then finished with just a sprinkle of Herbes de Provence to make this incredibly delicious indulgent hot sandwich! It’s classy, but easy to make and pairs perfectly with a green salad or cup of soup!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Sandwich, Snack
Cuisine: French
Keyword: croque madame, croque monsieur, ham and cheese sandwiches
Servings: 4
Calories: 617kcal

Ingredients

Bechamel

  • 3 tablespoons butter unsalted
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk scalded
  • teaspoon nutmeg ground
  • ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper

Sandwich

  • 8 slices white bread thick sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 12 slices black forest ham thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces Gruyere cheese shredded
  • 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence

Instructions

  • Before you begin. You need to preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Bechamel

  • Make a roux. First, melt the unsalted butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat. Then whisk in the flour and continue to whisk for about 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture has thickened but is still very pale in color. It’s important not to cook the roux for too long or it will begin to darken in color.
  • Add the milk and seasonings. While continually whisking, pour in the warm scalded milk, nutmeg, and salt. Then continue to cook the mixture for another 5 minutes while whisking often to both avoid lumps and to keep the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan. You can also turn the heat down if necessary and just cook it a tad longer if needed. You will know that the bechamel is done when it coats the back of a spoon. 
  • Add salt to taste. After the bechamel is made, taste it for salt and season to your liking. You may find that you don’t need any additional salt. This is completely a personal preference. 

Sandwich

  • Toast the bread. Lightly toast your bread slices. This step is optional, but I find it gives the sandwich a nicer crunch.
  • Spread the bechamel and Dijon. Spread 4 of the toasted bread slices with a layer of bechamel sauce all the way to the edges to cover the entire slice. Then spread each of the other 4 slices of toasted bread with about a teaspoon of Dijon mustard. Now, place the 4 slices with bechamel on the prepared baking sheet. 
  • Add the cheese and ham. Top each slice of bread with the bechamel sauce on the baking sheet with a handful of shredded gruyere, 3 slices of black forest ham, and then another handful of the Gruyere. Then place the other 4 slices of bread spread with Dijon on top of the 4 slices now topped with ham and cheese mustard side down.
  • Add more bechamel, cheese, and herbs. Top each assembled sandwich on the baking sheet with 2 to 3 more tablespoons of bechamel sauce and another handful of shredded cheese. Then to finish, sprinkle each sandwich with some Herbes de Provence.
  • Bake the sandwiches. Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake the sandwiches for 5 to 7 minutes. Then turn the oven on to broil, and broil them for another 2 to 3 minutes or until the cheese is lightly golden brown in color.

Notes

  1. Don’t overcook the roux. When making the bechamel it’s important to whisk the ingredients well and only cook the butter and flour together for about 2 to 3 minutes once it’s thickened. Too much longer and it will begin to brown, which will affect the flavor of the sauce. 
  2. Use scalded milk. For the best results follow the instructions and scald the milk. Bechamel will not turn out as well if you use cold milk.
  3. Be generous with the bechamel and cheese. Don’t be afraid to add plenty of cheese and white sauce to the Croque Monsieur. These are 2 of the most important elements of the sandwich that make it so good.
  4. Use a timer. You need to watch the sandwiches closely both while in the oven and especially under the broiler so they don’t burn. The easiest way to do this is by using a timer.
  5. You can store leftover Croque Monsieur in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months! To reheat, put the sandwiches on a baking sheet and then put them in the oven at 350°F (176°C) for about 10 to 12 minutes. If frozen, they will need to bake for about 20 to 25 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 617kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 140mg | Sodium: 1757mg | Potassium: 526mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 933IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 831mg | Iron: 4mg