croque monsieur

Croque Monsieur Recipe

an used to work at a local cocktail bar that served small plates and a few gourmet sandwiches.  One of the best sandwiches they had was a Croque Monsieur, which I'd never had before I had it there (and it was amazing), and I hadn't had one since, until we made this bad boy!  The Croque is typically made with Gruyere cheese, but Kerrygold challenged me to make a grilled cheese this month and I figured their cheese would make a damn fine Croque Monsieur, so I broke all the rules and did just that.  Spoiler alert: Kerrygold cheese does indeed make a damn fine Croque.  And technically this isn't a grilled cheese, per se, it's a baked cheese...with ham.  But I'm going to call it a mulligan.  It's a sandwich and bubbling hot cheese is heavily involved.  Grilled cheese it is.  And a fancy-ass grilled cheese at that.

Dan really wanted to make a Croque Madame, which is the same sandwich, but topped with a fried egg, but I was all, "Slow down, cowboy, let's not get too crazy."  But, hey, if you're into that, by all means, go for it.  

Croque Monsieur Recipe
Croque Monsieur Recipe

Kerrygold Croque Monsieur 
(recipe adapted from Bon Appetit)

Béchamel ingredients
¼ cup Kerrygold unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1½ cups whole milk
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or ¼ ground nutmeg
Kosher salt

Sandwich ingredients
4 slices ½”-thick rosemary bread
4-6 slices black forest ham (2-3 slices per sandwich)
~4 slices Kerrygold Blarney Castle cheese (enough for a layer in each sandwich)
1 cup Kerrygold Dubliner and/or Skellig Sweet Cheddar grated

To make Béchamel
1/ Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until foamy. Add flour and cook, stirring, until mixture is pale and foamy, about 3 minutes. 

2/ Add the milk in slowly, stirring until mixture is smooth.  Still stirring, cook until sauce is thick and somewhat elastic (with a sort of rubbery texture), about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in mustard and nutmeg; season with salt.

Croque Monsieur Recipe
Croque Monsieur Recipe

To construct Sandwich
1/ Preheat your oven to 425° F.  Spread all of the rosemary bread slices with béchamel, evenly and spread to the edges. 

2/ Place 2 slices of bread, béchamel side up, on a parchment (or foil) lined baking sheet.  Layer with ham and Blarney Castle cheese slices. 

3/ Place the remaining slices of bread, béchamel side up, on top and then sprinkle grated Dubliner and/or Skellig cheese on top. Bake until cheese is brown and bubbling, about 10–15 minutes.  Enjoy!

Croque Monsieur Recipe