{Baked} Croque Monsieur



If I spoke French, I would absolutely ruin this post with adorable little French-isms. As is, though, I’m afraid the closest to French I can come is to spell words phonetically based on the voice of the Chef in The Little Mermaid. As in: “Zis is zee best vay to make le Croque Monsieur,” adding that nasal, three-breath laugh to {zee} end of every sentence. In addition to my fake French accent, I’ve topped tonight’s recipe with a faux Bechemel sauce, to make matters worse. 

Now, this recipe is a fantastic way to feed multiple people without having to stand over a hot skillet, as is usually the case with a croque monsieur. Although the skillet-sweltering is unequivocally worth the effort, there is nothing wrong with this method when you want a little brunch-for-dinner. 

Baked Croque Monsieur


To make four sandwiches, you will need: 

  • 8 slices of bread. French bread or an eggy white loaf is perfect. 
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons jam. You can use raspberry, unless you happen to have a jar of homemade plum-jalapeno jam like my mother makes. In which case, use the plum-jalapeno variety. 
  • 1.5 cups heavy whipping cream 
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 8 slices cheese. I used Swiss, but it would be more traditional to use a hard French cheese, ideally a Gruyere. 
  • 8 ounces thick-sliced ham (not a sugary lunch meat ham, mind you). 
  • 1/2 tsp. each sea salt, black pepper, and nutmeg

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 400. Place your slices of bread on a cookie sheet and let them toast on their own for three minutes or so, to get some crunch (“croque”) going. 
  • Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, whisk together the heavy whipping cream, Dijon mustard, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and nutmeg on low-medium heat. 
  • In between stirring up your cream mixture, add one piece of cheese to each slice of bread. Add 1/2 tablespoon jam to each slice as well. Sprinkle with a bit of extra Parmesan, if you have any. 

  • Top with the ham, also divided evenly between the slices. 
  • Add a bit of the creamy cheese sauce to the middle of each sandwich. Seal the sandwiches and generously pour the remaining sauce over the sandwiches. 
  • Bake for five minutes at 400, then turn on the boiler for one to two additional minutes (watch carefully! Don’t let it burn!)
  • Remove from the oven and serve with a sprinkling of powdered sugar. 


If you have some Champagne, or if your kitchen is more like mine and you have faux-champagne to serve with your faux-croque-monsieur topped with your faux-Bechemel, I think the bubbles pair so nicely with this crunchy little meal. 



I made a variation of this recipe for a wedding shower during the summer. I used hollowed out mini French loafs, adding chopped ham and the remaining ingredients to the middle of the bread. I don’t have a great photo of the finished product, but you can see the sandwiches in the back of the picture. They were a huge hit (i.e. no leftovers) and they were very easy to eat while walking around outside (the party was in a gazebo in a park). I made sixteen sandwiches and it truly wasn’t taxing in the slightest. Imagine trying to make sixteen croque monsieurs the old fashioned way. Sucre Bleu! 



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