Thursday, July 22, 2010

Un Croque-Monsieur

It's been a goal of mine for awhile to learn French. Why French? you might ask. Because, I tried to take a French course in college and it absolutely kicked me smack dab in the seat of my pants (metaphoricaly, of course). I couldn't get the pronunciation, and the structure made my head spin. It stands out as a personal hurdle I'd love to overcome someday.
However, my schedule isn't allowing for much second-language-learning these days, so for now I am sticking with the most basic vocabulary words you learn in French (tourist) language books:
Je vais prendre un croque-monsieur, s'il vous plait.
I'll have an open-faced grilled ham and cheese, please.
And I assure you, you'll want to have one too.
We tried the Epicurious version this weekend. It is company worthy-- and those are words I never thought I'd say about a ham sandwich.

Before sharing, I have to say my Southern upbringing leads me to refer to the exquisite topping as "gravy," but it is nonetheless a nutmeg-scented, saucy foreign delight. So here you go, straight from Epicurious and me to you!
And if you happen to be my mother reading this, don't leave the nutmeg out. It is the perfect spice to make this ham sandwich stand far above and beyond all others.

Un Croque-Monsieur
For the "Gravy"
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 bay leaf

For the Sandwich:
4 slices firm white sandwich bread
4 ounces thinly sliced Black Forest ham
4 ounces sliced Gruyère cheese (I used smoked Gouda)
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese
2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives (I added my chives to the gravy)
print a shopping list for this recipe

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Add nutmeg and bay leaf. Increase heat to medium-high and boil until sauce thickens, whisking constantly, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat broiler. Place 2 bread slices on work surface. Top each with half of ham and sliced Gruyère. Top with remaining bread. Heat heavy large skillet over low heat. Brush sandwiches with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Add to skillet and cook until deep golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to small baking sheet. Spoon sauce, then grated cheese over sandwiches. Broil until cheese begins to brown, about 2 minutes.

Recipe link here.
Follow the link for a printer-friendly version!


  1. Oh, yes. I do love these-- we have a fantastic local bistro that makes them for me, thereby sparing me seeing exactly what goes into it to make it so tasty. I love the Croque Madam,as well-- top it with a poached egg for extra heart-healthiness.

  2. I guess the nutmeg keeps it from being gravy. Oh what a delicious recipe.

    I tried French as well. Just could not get the throat-clearing "R."

  3. It is french madness on the blogosphere right now...strangely...and I'm in france...and can't speak french to save my life either... xxx

  4. Well, at least you now know how to politely ask for an open-faced ham sandwich! :)

  5. oh i LOVE these sandwhiches too...perfect photograph too....

    wish that little morsel was on my lunch plate right now

    sending love,
    kary and teddy

  6. Yum!!

    Hey Girl...I took French for four years in High School and barely remember a word...I guess it's all firing around somewhere up there in my grey matter, but, buried pretty deep....quel domage....

    ...soooooo....I went to the library and got language tapes that I play in my car...just a thought!

    Bon Chance mon amie! ; )

  7. Wow! Can I come over? I'll drive the 6 or so hours for that!!

  8. 不要去想沒拿到的東西,多想想自己手裡所擁有的..................................................


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