Croque Monsieur

Croque Monsieur

This warm, soothing sandwich is a French classic! There’s nothing like a cheesy Croque Monsieur to warm you up on a cold winter day. Creamy béchamel sauce gives this dish a special flavor, and it’s a great way to practice making a roux. If you want to change things up, try adding a fried egg on top — and you’ll have a Croque Madame!

Makes:

4 servings

Hands-on time:

10 minutes

Start-to-eat time:

30 minutes

Ingredients

  • Béchamel sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1½ cups warm milk
  • 2 tablespoons chives or green onion
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste
  • Sandwich:
  • 8 ounces gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces grated parmesan cheese
  • 4-8 slices of ham
  • 8 slices thick-cut bread

Kids kitchen skills:

  • making a roux
  • toasting in the oven

Tools:

  • measuring cups & spoons
  • small saucepan & whisk
  • baking sheet

Step-by-step

Grown-up steps: Kids may need support at the stovetop and when using the oven. Make sure to use mitts! In step 2, you’ll be whisking just long enough to incorporate the flour well and neutralize the taste. The béchamel sauce should be thick and not runny.
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a small pan over medium heat until melted. Add the flour while whisking, and cook for 3 minutes.
  3. On medium-low heat slowly whisk in the warm milk and allow to thicken, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add pepper, chives, salt, mustard, and nutmeg (if using), stir to combine. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
  5. Place bread on the baking sheet, spread the béchamel sauce on 4 of the slices of bread, and top with the ham.
  6. Top with shredded cheese and parmesan cheese, saving some cheese for the top side of the sandwich.
  7. Place another slice of bread on top of each sandwich, spread more béchamel on top, and sprinkle the rest of the cheese.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.
  9. Let the sandwiches rest for about 5 minutes, and serve warm.

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