The French Croque Monsieur takes the simple ham and cheese sandwich and elevates it with the addition of a creamy bechamel sauce.
Do you know what the difference between a Croque Monsieur and a Croque Madame is? The only difference is that an egg is added on top of a Croque Madame! Today we’re going to keep it simple and focus on the classic French bistro meal, the timeless Croque Monsieur.
Croque Monsieur Recipe
This recipe is meant for 4 people.
- 8 slices of pain de mie (or other white sandwich bread)
- 7 oz of sliced ham
- ½ cup grated gruyère cheese (or another similar cheese like Swiss cheese or Emmental cheese)
- 2 ½ tablespoons of butter
- ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cup of milk
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
How to Make a Croque Monsieur
Here are the steps to make a traditional French Croque Monsieur.
- Prepare your bechamel sauce first by melting the butter in a saucepan on low heat, and then whisking in the flour. Continue to whisk, then after 1-2 minutes, slowly add in your cold milk while still whisking. Let it thicken up a bit then chill with plastic resting on the surface to avoid a skin forming on the sauce.
- Preheat your oven to 375F.
- Spread an even layer of your chilled bechamel sauce on each slice of bread. Then on 4 of the slices, use ¼ cup of the grated cheese, and spread evenly on top of the sauce. After, place your ham on top of the cheese.
- Top your sandwiches with the remaining four slices of bread, with the bechamel side facing the ham, then top the sandwiches with the remaining bechamel sauce. Sprinkle on the rest of your cheese.
- Place your sandwiches on a lined baking sheet, and place in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sandwich is hot all the way through.