Classic Bistro Sandwich Croque Monsieur and Madame
Croque Monsieur and Madame are classic French bistro menu items and favourites of David’s. The traditional recipe is old, dating to the early years of the twentieth century. Perhaps Proust had a Croque Monsieur before he nibbled that now-legendary madeleine. David tends to order this flavourful sandwich whenever he sees it on a menu.
Croque Monsieur and Madame
For the béchamel sauce:
- 3 tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 3 tbsp Flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- to taste Salt and Pepper
- a pinch of Nutmeg freshly-grated
For the sandwiches:
- a couple dabs Softened butter for spreading
- 8 slices Pain de Mie *recipe link below
- 2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 4 1/4 oz Baked Ham
- 2 1/2 cups Gruyère cheese grated
- 4 Eggs optional
Make the béchamel sauce:
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
- Add all the milk at once, and whisk constantly until very thick. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Set aside.
Prepare the sandwiches:
- Spread four (4) slices of pain de mie each with 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard, sprinkle each with 1/2 cup of grated Gruyère cheese, and top with a piece of ham.
- Place the remaining slices of pain de mie on top. Butter tops and bottoms of the sandwich and cook slowly on a flat griddle until lightly golden on both sides.
- Preheat the broiler, and place rack 4-5 inches from the heat. Place sandwiches on a cookie sheet – or in gratin dishes for serving - and spoon about 1/2 cup of the béchamel sauce on top of each sandwich, letting it run down the sides.
- Sprinkle the four (4) sandwiches with the remaining 1/2 cup Gruyère cheese.
- Slide the sandwiches under the broiler and remove them when golden brown on top. Serve immediately. Steamed asparagus or a salad makes an excellent side.