I think we'll declare this month Melt-y March, and not just because of the snow (which is now melting) that appeared unseasonably late here in Texas, but because we will feature two delicious melted cheese dishes this month, one French, one British. First up, the French.
At its heart, a Croque Monsieur is basically a ham and cheese sandwich, but it is a ham and cheese sandwich gussied up with the culinary excess that only the French can provide. It is succulent, savory and delicious. If you've never had one right out from under the broiler, you simply must try it. Magnifique!
4 Tablespoons Butter
3 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
2 Cups Milk
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1 Teaspoon Herbs de Province
1/4 Cup Dijon Mustard
6 Oz Gruyere, Grated
4 Slices Country Ham
4 Slices Swiss Cheese (Emmental)
8 Slices Sandwich Bread
Melt Butter in a large skillet.
Meanwhile, gently heat your milk in a sauce pan
Sift in the Flour into the skillet with the butter
Stir until combined.
Add your hot milk
Stir into no clumps of flour remain.
Add the salt, nutmeg and Herbs de Province.
Add 4 ounces of the Gruyere.
Remove from heat and stir until cheese melts.
Add a heaping teaspoon of the Dijon mustard and stir.
Meanwhile toast your bread slices and remove the crust.
Slather four of the slices with Dijon mustard.
Top these four with a slice of ham.
Top that with a slice of the Swiss Cheese
Top those with the rest of the bread. You've now got four pretty decent ham sandwiches. But, we're now gonna go one step further. Make 'em a little more decadent. Slather the tops of each sandwich with a generous helping of the cheese sauce you made in the skillet.
Top this with the rest of the grated Gruyere.
Turn on your broiler and place the sandwiches under it. Broil until the cheese is melted and starting to turn golden brown.
Pull out of the oven and admire.
Until next time,