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The crôque-monsieur is symbolic of French fast food and is a deluxe grilled ham and cheese sandwich. It is typically made with emmental and gruyère cheese. The recipe below is my take on some of the more elaborate versions of the sandwich – topped with mornay sauce.
“Crôquer” is French for “to crunch” and “Monsieur” is “Mister.” So literally translated it would be something like “Mister Crunchy.” Call it what you will, this grilled ham and cheese sandwich topped with a creamy white cheese sauce is rich and hearty and surprisingly easy to make.
When I recently made this I didn’t have Emmental or Gruyère cheese, so I used a combo of what I had on hand: Jack, Meunster and Cheddar. I also used diced ham because I didn’t have any sandwich meat. The sandwiches were still great!
2 slices of sourdough or french bread
2 slices of ham (or diced ham)
Dijon or stone-ground mustard, optional
Grated Emmental, Gruyère, or other cheeses
Place the slices of bread on a cooking sheet and lightly toast both sides in the oven. It should only take a couple of minutes when broiling. Be sure to watch the bread closely so that it doesn’t burn.
If desired spread mustard on one slice of bread. Cover with the ham slices and grated cheese. Top with the other slice of bread.
Lightly coat a pan with butter. Grill both sides of the sandwich until golden brown. The cheese should begin to melt.
Pour Mornay sauce over the top of the sandwich and serve it immediately or bake it at 350 degrees until the sauce begins to bubble and turn light golden brown.