Crunch Sir or the insanely decadent and delicious Croque Monsieur Sandwich Recipe

Contrary to popular belief not everything French needs to be fancy. Just like the British and the Americans, the French enjoy their local pubs, bars and bistros and while your won't find chicken wings or chip buddies there you will find the king of grilled cheese sandwiches. 

Known as the Croque Monsieur (literally Crunch Sir) it's a grilled ham and cheese sandwiches baked with an oozy layer of bechamel sauce over it. 

Crunch Sir? Mais oui!

Seems like a perfect hearty fall lunch, paired with a Oktoberfest beer or a robust red. Enjoy!

 

And if you want to really go crazy, try the Croque Madam variation - add a fried egg on top...Yes sir!

 

INGREDIENTS

béchamel

  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or ¼ ground nutmeg
  • Kosher salt

assembly

  • 8 slices bread - country style white is perfect - and the slices should be on the thinner side
  • 6 oz. deli ham, preferably Paris ham (about 8 slices). Again - thin sliced is better for this sandwich
  • 3 oz. Gruyère, grated (about 1½ cups) or 4 slices

 

RECIPE PREPARATION - Makes 4 sandwiches

But first, the bechamel sauce:

béchamel

  • Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until foamy. Add flour and cook, stirring, until mixture is pale and foamy, about 3 minutes. Gradually add milk, stirring until mixture is smooth. Cook, stirring, until sauce is thick and somewhat elastic, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in mustard and nutmeg; season with salt.

  • DO AHEAD: Béchamel can be made 1 day ahead. Let cool; press plastic wrap directly onto surface and chill.

sandwich assembly

  • Preheat oven to 425°. Spread bread slices with béchamel, dividing evenly and extending all the way to the edges. Place 4 slices of bread, béchamel side up, on a parchment-lined baking sheet; top with ham and half of cheese. Top with remaining slices of bread, béchamel side up, then top with remaining cheese. Bake until cheese is brown and bubbling, 10–15 minutes.

  • DO AHEAD: Sandwiches can be made (but not baked) 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.

    Serve with...who are we kidding, this is enough!

    Recipe adapted from bonappetit.com and NYTimes

     

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