Croque Monsieur with French Ham on Croissant
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 5 ounces Gruyère cheese, in three parts
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspooon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 large croissants
- 2-4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 10 ounces very thinly sliced French ham
You’ll want to have all your ingredients pre-measured and at hand so you can whisk the Mornay sauce continuously to avoid lumps. Grate the Gruyère and measure 4 tablespoons of the cheese into a small bowl then add the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Measure the milk and have everything near the stove top. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute, until bubbly. Do not allow to brown; turn down the heat if the edges are starting to darken. Add the milk 1/4 cup at a time, whisking continuously. The sauce should be thick after 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat, then whisk in the cheese and seasoning mixture. Whisk until fully incorporated and the sauce is slightly cooled. Set aside.
Place a croissant on a cutting board and hold in place with one hand as you slice the top from the bottom using a bread knife. Spread the inside of each sandwich top lightly with Dijon mustard. Spread a thin layer of Mornay sauce on the inside of both top and bottom pieces of croissant. Top with 2/3 of the remaining Gruyère.
Broil the croissant halves until the cheese is melted. Remove from oven and place the ham on the bottom side of each sandwich. Add the tops, then spoon the remaining Mornay sauce over the top of each sandwich. Sprinkle with the remaining Gruyère cheese and broil until cheese melts.
Slice and serve immediately with field green salad and a glass of the 2010 Westerly Merlot.
–recipe and photo courtesy Tama Takahashi