I hope that everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving. We spent ours with close family and lots of delicious food. I love Thanksgiving because it is a set aside day to simply spend time with loved ones over a delicious meal – what more could you want? This season is always a welcome reminder that makes me realize just how much I have to be thankful for.
One of my favorite foods at our Thanksgiving feast is not always the turkey, but the Honey Baked Ham. This year it was part of my contribution to our family meal… so I also ended up with the leftovers. In an effort to get creative with a large amount of ham on-hand – I decided to make French Croque Monsieurs.
I was a French Minor in college and studied abroad in Paris so I am very partial to French cuisine. Then, when I visited France in 2015 again with my husband Croque Monsieurs were one of his favorite dishes. That being said, I used authentic French ingredients to make these. The type of bread, dijon mustard and the quality of the cheese really makes the difference on this simple sandwich. In French fashion, I served the sandwiches along side a green salad. Here are a few other tips below. Enjoy!
- For the bread, use a loaf of Rustic French bread and cut it length wise.
- The dijon mustard makes a big difference in this recipe – I like the Edmond Fallot brand that is produced in actual Dijon, France. It is available at Central Market or on Amazon.
- I recommend using a nice aged gruyere and slicing it thin for the sandwiches.
- This also makes a great appetizer if you do not want to serve as full sandwiches just cut up into bite sized pieces.
Decadent French Ham and Grilled Cheese - Croque Monsieurs.
- 1 Loaf Rustic French Bread
- Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 - 3/4 Pound Sliced Ham
- 1/2 Pound Gruyere Cheese - Sliced Thin or Shredded
- 1/8 Cup Parmesan Reggiano, Shredded
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 2 Tablespoons White Flour
- 3/4 Cup Milk
- Pinch of Paprika
- 1 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme + more for garnish
- Salt and Pepper
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Step 2 Melt butter in a saucepan then whisk in flour until combined. Slowly whisk in milk until the sauce thickens and becomes smooth. Add in paprika and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep sauce on low heat to keep warm while you are assembling the sandwiches.
- Step 3 Cut bread into thin slices length wise. Lay bread flat and coat one side of each sandwich with dijon mustard. Then fill with ham and Gruyere cheese.
- Step 4 Place sandwiches on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until the top is golden brown and the cheese is melted. 8 – 10 Minutes.
- Step 5 Remove from the oven and flip sandwich over. Change oven setting to Broil. Spread béchamel sauce over the top surface of the sandwich then cover the surface with Parmesan Reggiano and Gruyere Cheeses. Sprinkle a bit of fresh Thyme on top. Place back in the oven and cook until the top becomes a crusted golden brown. 5 – 7 minutes. Serve hot.