Croque Monsieur or Madame

15 minutesServes 4
Croque Madame

Ingredients

Bechamel:

  • 2 c. whole milk
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ½ stick unsalted butter
  • ¼ c. The Fresh Market Unbleached All Purpose Flour
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg, freshly grated
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Sandwiches:

  • 8 slices country style bread, lightly toasted
  • 3 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 8 slices ham
  • 4 c. Emmentaler cheese, grated, divided
  • 1 c. Parmigiano Reggiano , grated
  • 1 tsp. Herbes de Provence
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

For the béchamel: combine milk, garlic, and thyme in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until simmering. Meanwhile, melt butter in a separate saucepan. Add flour to butter and whisk for 2 minutes. Strain warm milk into flour mixture, and discard the garlic and thyme. Whisk the mixture frequently until sauce is thick and somewhat elastic, about 4 minutes. Remove béchamel from heat and whisk in nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

To assemble sandwiches: Preheat broiler. Place 4 slices of bread on a baking sheet and spread the top of each piece with mustard. Top each slice with 2 pieces of ham and ½ c Emmentaler. Top with remaining 4 slices of bread. Spread the top of each sandwich with béchamel sauce and sprinkle with remaining Emmentaler, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and herbes de Provence. Broil until golden brown and bubbling, 6-7 minutes. Season with black pepper, to taste. Let sandwiches rest 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Note: To transform your Croque Monsieur into a Croque Madame, top each sandwich with 1 egg fried sunny-side up.