In some of the tourist places we visited in France I came across croque monsieur. An inside out grilled cheese sandwich! The kids tried it and thought it was fun.
I loved the inspiration I got while over there. So much good food and ingredients. I got a kick out of this vending machine we found:
I mean how cool is this idea? Fresh veg, fruit, and homemade soups. Don’t get me wrong I loved the Cadbury vending machines when I lived in London but still, this was refreshing to see. Much better than these fish sticks I found:
There are several recipes for croque monsieur, all pretty similar. I used Ina Garten’s from Barefoot in Paris as a guide. I used our sourdough bread for this. I really didn’t want to use the soft storebought white bread she recommends. I just don’t like that stuff! I needed to make 4 sandwiches so I toasted the bread ahead of time. Also, prep 1/2 cup of parmesan and 1/2 cup of jarlsberg and set aside.
In a small saucepan melt 2 tablespoons of butter then add 3 tablespoons of flour to the butter.
Keep it on the heat and continue whisking to cook the flour. You don’t want the mixture to burn.
Her recipe called for 2 cups of milk but I felt that was way too much. I decided to go with 1 1/2 cups of milk. We still had too much sauce leftover. Gradually add the milk to the flour mixture, again whisking the whole time to work out the lumps.
With the heat on medium bring the mixture to a near boil. You don’t want to have it actually boil but you need it hot enough to thicken. Keep stirring to prevent the milk from scorching on the bottom. Once the sauce thickens remove from the heat and stir in the grated cheese. Dust the top with nutmeg and season with sea salt and pepper.
Spread stone ground mustard of your choice onto half the slices of the toast. Add slices of ham and top with the other slices of bread. Then spoon on the sauce. Top with more jarlsberg cheese.
Broil until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Serve with a side salad.
I have to say as crazy as this dish sounded to me it was a lot of fun to eat and it was delicious.