Seems one day around the turn of the century, someone in Paris looked at the simple grilled cheese sandwich and thought “I should make that way more complex!”. Thing is, it’s also way more tasty … and versatile. If you add a fried egg on top, you have the Croque Madame (named because the egg apparently looks like a ladies’ hat). A few more tweaks, you have the classic Reuben.
Let’s see how to makes this Parisien bistro classic
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 slices fresh bread, one that is light and airy
- 3 tbsp butter
- 4 oz shredded Gruyère cheese
- 2 slices Gruyère cheese
- 4 oz sliced ham
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tbsp flour (all-purpose)
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
Our first step is creating a Béchamel sauce, as we’ve done before!
First, we melt 2 tbsp of butter in a sauce pan
Add flour to the melted butter
and the nutmeg
Stir together to create a roux
Slowly add warm milk until you have a smooth sauce.
I find a whisk is ideal for this!
Melt the remaining butter and bush it on one side of each slice of bread
Add 2 slices of bread, butter side down to a skillet over med-high heat
Get that Béchamel and spoon some on each piece of bread
Place the ham on top of the bread
now add the slices of cheese … see, this isn’t too hard!
Place the other slices, butter side UP on top
Grill both sides until nice and golden
Transfer the sandwiches to a baking pan or sheet
Spoon the remaining Béchamel sauce over the top of the sandwiches
Cover with the shredded cheese … use it ALL! (you will thank me for that)
Place this in the oven to broil …
Keep an eye on them … broil until the cheese has fully melted and started to brown slightly
Transfer to plates … eat!
So there you have it, the Croque Monsieur