Thursday, February 27, 2014

Time to Food Travel - French Croque Monsieur

Today's TTFT (Time to Food Travel) takes us to my absolute favorite place on Earth!
I wish I was really there, but this will have to suffice!  

Time for a French Croque Monsieur..Oui!

This is SO much more than a ham and cheese sandwich.  Besides, the name makes it fancy, right?

Here's how to make this yummy...

16 slices challah bread 
Dijon mustard 
1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss Cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
8 oz thinly sliced maple honey ham
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp flour 
2 cups milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch nutmeg

Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Toast the bread slices. Spread mustard on one slice for each sandwich.
Set aside 1/2 cup Swiss cheese for the sauce and an additional cup for topping the sandwiches.

Split the remaining cheese in half and equally distribute one half of the cheese on top of the bread with the mustard. On top of the shredded cheese, add an ounce of ham to each slice, and top the ham with the other half of the Swiss cheese.

Top each sandwich with the remaining bread slices and wrap them tightly in foil. Bake for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted.

Meanwhile, make the sauce.  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 hot milk into the butter/flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Remove from heat and add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese, and the Parmesan.  Set aside.

Turn on the broiler and unwrap the sandwiches. Top each sandwich with equal amounts of sauce and the remaining 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese.

Broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned.

Doesn't that sound good?  Ina Garten's Barefoot in Paris has this recipe and many other French inspired recipes.  So when you can't travel to the City of Love...create it in your own kitchen.

Celebrate the little things that make life sweet!


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