Toaster Oven Croque Monsieur (French ham and cheese sandwich) in 20 minutes

DSC_0699

It’s been almost one year since I studied abroad in Paris, France, and I dream of going back every day. So, here’s the thing. I often make French food to relive my experiences abroad, and croque monsieurs are my go-to dish. I ate too many of these in Paris, and it took me months before I could eat bread and cheese again after I returned to the States.

Click here for the recipe for ‘Toaster Oven Croque Monsieur’

Please make this dish — fatten your ass with me and together, we can relive my memories from being abroad. Croque monsieurs (pronounced kinda like ‘CROAK MUH-see-UH’) are grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. They’re a Parisian classic, and they’re traditionally made with emmental or gruyere cheese. Basically, any Swiss cheese is your best bet, and opt for deli-sliced ham such as Virginia ham or Black Forest ham. These sandwiches have a luscious bechamel sauce (French white sauce) that elevate them to perfection. Yes, I know you can easily make ham and cheese sandwiches in, like, 3 minutes. But I’m politely asking you to set aside about 15 minutes of your time so you can gastronomically transport your ass to Paris. Pardon my French. It’s worth it.

Btdubs, here’s a pic of a croque madame I had in Paris at one of my favorite restaurants, which was literally called “Café de France.”

DSC_0454 copy

FYI, a croque madame is just a croque monsieur with a fried egg on top, and it’s equally delicious. Here’s a quick French lesson: croque is derived from the french verb “croquer” which means “to crunch,” and monsieur means “mister.” Madame is “Mrs.” Sorry, that’s all all I know about the dish’s name.

Here’s what you need!

DSC_0586

White bread (note: don’t go whole wheat on me, that’d be weird), shredded Swiss cheese, black forest ham (or any ham you enjoy), dijon mustard, milk, butter, flour, pepper, salt, and parmesan cheese(optional).

DSC_0588

Let’s be fancy. Cut off the crusts of each bread slice. I got 4 slices to make 2 sandwiches.

DSC_0589

Like so. Nice. Discard the crust. Or feed them to the birdies.

DSC_0595

In a small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Why does it look white like that, you ask? Well, that’s the milk solids in the butter, and it’s separating from the butter fat and water. TMI? Okay, moving on.

DSC_0602

Dab some of that melted butter on one side of the bread slices. Oh yeah, place the bread slices on a small baking sheet lined with foil. We’re gonna use the small toaster oven for this. Don’t use all the butter!

DSC_0603

Okay, toast that shiz. I want it to be nice and brown.  This is crucial. We toast the bread before we assemble because the sandwiches would otherwise be soggy and gloppy with the white sauce.

DSC_0606

Meanwhile, you should have 1 tablespoon of melted butter left in the saucepan. Add a little flour to it. We’re making a roux. (which reminds me, I need to go to a La Roux concert)  A roux(pronounced RUE) is literally just flour and butter together like so. This is the base of our white sauce.

DSC_0608

Whisk it around for a minute or so. Don’t burn it, please. Your heat should be medium-high-ish.

DSC_0609

Add some milk to the saucepan and whisk, whisk, whisk.

DSC_0614

Whisk it until no lumps remain in the sauce and it is thoroughly combined like this. It’ll thicken really well, and it takes about 1 to 2 minutes or so. Remove from heat when the sauce is thick like this. Dang, that looks très elegant.

DSC_0617

Okay, this is optional. Add some parmesan cheese. It’s got a snappy zingy flavor. Yes…I’m adding an Italian cheese to this oh-so French dish. Don’t hate. You won’t regret it.

DSC_0619

This is not optional. I need you to add some Swiss cheese to the sauce. We’re making a cheese sauce, afterall, and it’s gotta be Swiss.

DSC_0623

Add some freshly ground black pepper, too! Stir the sauce, off the heat, until the cheeses are melted and the sauce is gooey. You can add some salt and just a pinch of nutmeg if you want it to be special. Set aside.

DSC_0624

Holy crud, that’s a good color. 4-5 minutes in the toaster oven should produce this color.

DSC_0628

Okay, flip the 4 bread slices over. What do you see? You will see naked white bread that isn’t too toasted. That’s okay, we’ll slather some dijon mustard on the naked sides of each slice. Grey Poupon, anybody?

DSC_0631

For now, set aside two bread slices that have been schmeared with mustard. On the other two bread slices, layer 1-2 slices of ham on top of the dijon mustard…

DSC_0634

And sprinkle on some shredded Swiss cheese on the ham. Back in the toaster oven it goes for a few minutes until melty. Use the broiler setting, if you want. It’s like an open-faced sandwich right now.

DSC_0635

Dang.

DSC_0636

Okay, almost there. Now top the sandwiches off with the other bread slice with mustard schmeared on them. Place the toasted side facing UP, ya hear?

DSC_0638

On top of the crusty sandwich top, spread all that cheesy bechamel sauce evenly. Holy moly.

DSC_0639

And just some more shredded cheese will do…

Hey, girl, heyyy. I never promised a low-fat dish here.

DSC_0634

Back in the toaster. For a third time. You can use the broiler for this.

“Seriously, Daisy Bun? WTF.”

DSC_0655

Oh, honey, it’s so worth it. Toast the sandwiches until the tops are golden brown and dangerously cheesey.

DSC_0682

et, voilà. Yolo. Bon appétit.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>