Saturday, December 29, 2012

Croque-Monsieur Madame

We love to experience new little restaurants whenever we can. I have mentioned before that small bistro-type places are our favorite. Recently we have been going to a delicious shop here in Omaha, and we just can’t get enough. From their upscale burgers to stuffed squash blossoms, everything is top of the line. The first time I went there I got a Croque Monsieur Madame and I just can’t stray from it! It is perfectly creamy, a little bite, and rich, rich, RICH. And boy do I like RICH!

Croque-Monsieur Madame Sandwiches
Printable Version

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch nutmeg, optional
12 ounces Gruyere, grated (5 cups)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
8 slices dense white sandwich bread
Dijon mustard
8 ounces baked Virginia ham, sliced but not paper thin
4 eggs, optional

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg (optional), 1/2 cup grated Gruyere, and the Parmesan and set aside.
To toast the bread, place the slices on 2 baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes, until toasted.
Lightly brush half the toasted breads with mustard, add a slice of ham to each, and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyere. Top with another piece of toasted bread. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned.
While sandwich is baking, prepare a sunny-side up egg, if desired. Top broiled sandwich with cooked egg, serve hot.

Makes 4 sandwiches
Recipe adapted from the Barefoot Contessa

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