01 September 2011

Croque Monsieur

Ready for the broiler
Croque Monsieur
3 tbs butter, unsalted
4 tbs all-purpose flour
2 cups milk (or thereabouts)
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
pinch of fresh grated nutmeg
1 lb Fontina, grated
1/4 c Parmesan, grated
Dijon mustard
1/2 lb ham, sliced thin
10 slices of firm white bread (remove crust or not, as you like)

First toast the bread - in the oven. It takes about 5 minutes at 375 and then flip for 3 minutes more.
Mornay Sauce - melt the butter, once the butter is bubbly, add flour and cook together for a few minutes to cook off the flour taste. Add a small amout of the milk first and stir in, let it cook for a bit. Then add the rest of the milk. You can heat the milk and this process will go quicker, but I never bother to do that. It's the same method I use for making macaroni and cheese. You have to heat this over medium heat and it requires pretty much constant stiring so you don't burn the mixture. But given a few minutes, it will thicken until it coats the back of a spoon. Once this is accomplished, remove it from the heat and add about 8 ozs. of Fontina and all the Parmesan.  You could use Gruyere, which is more traditional, or as I have before, use a combination of Fontina for melt-ability and cheddar for flavor. Set aside.
Now assemble the sandwich. Take once piece of toasted bread and coat with Dijon mustard, add a slice or two of ham, a little grated cheese and top with another piece of bread. Then do the fun thing - top sandwich with the mornay sauce and top with a little more grated cheese.
Sure, it's white on white, but it taste amazing. 
Now for the finish - heat the sandwiches in the over for a few minutes in the oven, that I'm sure you left at 375 degrees. If you want to broil to get the cheese on the top brown and bubbling - go for it.

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