Posts Tagged 'sandwich'

Croque Monsieur

Croque mr

Croque Monsieur

I had my first Croque Monsieur when I lived in France during culinary school. To this day it has remained my favorite sandwich.

Basically, a Croque Monsieur is a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. But the French have elevated what would be a simple sandwich into a work of art! A classic ham and cheese is slathered with a béchamel sauce to make it even more indulgent.

The key to a good Croque Monsieur is the ingredients. Since the ingredients are few, you need to use good ones. Traditionally, a nutty Gruyère or Swiss Emmental cheese is used. Most markets carry these cheeses, but in a pinch, a good Swiss cheese could be substituted. As for the ham, this sandwich is a wonderful way to use up the leftovers from your Christmas baked ham.

The béchamel sauce is what makes this sandwich. Considered a “mother” sauce in French cuisine, a béchamel is very simple to prepare. Butter and flour are cooked together over low heat before milk and cheese are added to make this traditional cheese sauce. Thanks to the cheesy goodness that the sauce adds, it really is a knife-and-fork kind of sandwich.

This classic French treat is perfect for supper, lunch or a weekend brunch. They are so rich, serve them simply with a salad or soup. However you choose to serve them, I bet they will become your family’s favorite ham-and-cheese sandwich too.

Croque Monsieur

Serves 4

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 slices white sandwich bread, lightly toasted
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 pound baked ham, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. When the butter starts to foam, add the flour. Cook, whisking until thickened, about 1 minute. While continuing to whisk, gradually add the milk. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened, about 2 to 4 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the nutmeg, Parmesan, and 1/4 cup of the Gruyere. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

To assemble the sandwiches, place 4 slices of the toasted bread on a baking sheet. Lightly brush each of the slices with 1 tablespoon of mustard. Top each with 1/4 of the ham and 1/8 of the remaining Gruyere (about 1/4 cup). Top each with one of the remaining toasted bread slices. Pour the cheese sauce evenly over the tops of the sandwiches and sprinkle each with 1/4 of the remaining Gruyere. Transfer to the oven and bake until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned about 3 to 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Variation: Feeling indulgent? Top your Croque Monsieur with a fried egg and you will be enjoying a treat the French call a Croque Madame.

From Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler.

Reuben Sandwiches

Reuben Sandwiches

Piled high with corned beef, tangy sauerkraut, and creamy Thousand Island dressing, this warm sandwich is just as tasty at home as at your local deli.

In fact, it may be even better!

This Thousand Island dressing comes from the kitchen of my friend Alison’s grandmother. It is hands down the best Thousand Island dressing I have ever had. You can’t even compare it to the bottled versions you find at the grocery.  I guarantee its worth the few extra minutes to make your own.

Enjoy!

Reuben Sandwiches

For the Thousand Island dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons chili sauce
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Dash of hot sauce (optional)

For the sandwiches:
8 slices rye bread
8 teaspoons unsalted butter
3/4 pound thinly sliced cooked corned beef
4 slices Swiss cheese
1 cup refrigerated sauerkraut, drained

To make the dressing: In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, relish, Worcestershire sauce, chili sauce, and lemon juice until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Season with the hot sauce, if desired. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble the sandwiches: Evenly butter one side of each slice of bread. Place 4 slices, buttered side down, on a work surface. On each slice, spread 1 tablespoon of the Thousand Island dressing. Layer each sandwich with 1/4 of the corned beef, 1/4 cup of the sauerkraut, and 1 slice of the Swiss cheese. Top each sandwich with 1 of the remaining slices of bread, buttered side up.

Preheat a griddle (or a large skillet) over medium heat. Place the sandwiches on the warm griddle and cook until the bottom is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Using a flat spatula, carefully turn the sandwiches over. Cook until the second side is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Serve hot, with a side of extra Thousand Island dressing if desired.

Serves 4.

Cooking Tip: Cook the sandwiches slowly in order to allow the cheese to melt without burning the bread. If the outside is browning too quickly, reduce the heat, cover, and cook slowly until the cheese melts.

Do-Ahead: The Thousand Island dressing will last up to 4 days covered and refrigerated.

From Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler

Photo by the talented Natalie Root.


Jennifer Chandler

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