Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Croque Monsieur - Ina Garten "The Barefoot Contessa"

With a few recent trips to the Carriage Trade Cheese Shop in Medford, NJ, what better to make when we have some nice, fresh Gruyere cheese than Croque Monsieur from Ina Garten’s recipe? The recipe itself is easy, and these are some great sandwiches when we’re in the mood for them. That said, I picked up some Boar’s Head turkey, and made these sandwiches tonight. Yes, we prefer these with turkey opposed to ham, but the ham is very pleasant as well, so long as it is good ham.

Here’s the recipe:


• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 2 cups hot milk
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• Pinch nutmeg
• 12 ounces Gruyere, grated (5 cups - I actually used 7 different cheeses)
• 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
• 16 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
• Dijon mustard
• 8 ounces baked Virginia ham, sliced but not paper thin


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 hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 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 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned. Serve hot.

Needless to say, the recipe is easy, and these came out nice like always. This is the first time we have made these in the new oven, and they cooked even better, and faster than with our old oven. The new broiler works wonders, and cooks very fast. The cheese came out with some nice color, and was a bit of bubblicious heaven. What is there to say other than gorgeous? So if you are looking for a delicious, quick meal, this is a great option, and one that I figure was worth sharing. Give it a try, and I hope you enjoy it! I know that we did! Cheers! -F. Scott & Zelda

Recipe compliments of FoodNetwork at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/croque-monsieur-recipe/index.html

1 comment:

Simply Delicious Catering said...

Hi Scott and Zelda, thanks for sharing your recipe with your readers. The recipe sounds wonderful! Must try it when one weekend.
Have a nice day!