Croque monsieur is a classic French sandwich. This recipe appears in "Martha Stewart's Cooking School."
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole milk, heated
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese, divided
- 8 slices toasted or grilled country bread, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 pound sliced baked ham, such as prosciutto cotto or jamon royale
- Pinch herbes de Provence
- Cornichons, for serving
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high, and slowly add hot milk. Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and add salt, pepper, nutmeg, and 1/2 cup Gruyere. Set bechamel sauce aside.
- Lightly brush 4 slices bread with mustard. Divide ham evenly between bread, and sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons Gruyere. Top with 4 more slices toasted bread. Slather tops with the bechamel sauce, and sprinkle with remaining Gruyere and herbes de Provence.
- Bake sandwiches until topping is lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve hot with cornichons.