I am fascinated by France – their language, their cuisine, their joie de vivre… I wish we can learn more to enjoy the pleasure French people derive from the simple things in life.
Every since I leartned about Croque Monsieur sandwiches, I’ve been wanting to eat one… but I knew I had to make it at home because they’re typically a grilled ham and cheese sandwich topped with a cheesy béchamel sauce and more melted gruyere cheese. Hmmmm. Need I say more?
So here is my karma-free version for all of you…
CROQUE MONSIEUR SANDWICH
2 slices 100% whole wheat country bread 2 slices aged Swiss cheese 2 slices of soy-protein smoked ham – I buy mine frozen at NYC’s Chinatown, but you substitute with any veggie cold-cut of your preference Dijon mustard Bechamel Sauce, recipe follows About ½ cup Shredded gruyere cheese
Using a slicing mandolin, slice the ham. In a small skillet, brown the ham slices a bit. This will warm them up and cook them a little. Set aside.
Make the béchamel.
Toast bread slices. Assemble sandwiches by spreading some Dijon mustard on the inside of the bread slices. Place swiss cheese, ham, a bit of the shredded gruyere cheese on one side and top with the remaining slice.
Place sandwich in a baking sheet. Pour a ladleful of the béchamel sauce on top of the sandwich and sprinkle additional shredded gruyere cheese.
Broil in oven for about 4-5 minutes until the cheese has melted and turned a bit golden brown.
I know this is not the traditional way a béchamel is made, but this is easy, it works and it works better for me than the traditional method. For some reason, I always end up with a flourly taste when I do the traditional version… OK?
1 cup plain soy milk – make sure it’s not the vanilla kind… 3 tbs cornstarch Salt and Pepper to taste A dash of ground nutmeg About ½ cup gruyere cheese
In a medium saucepan, heat most of the soymilk. Leave a little bit of soymilk aside to mix with the cornstarch. Add the remaining milk/cornstarch to the warmed soymilk and let it boil slowly to thicken.
Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Remove from heat and add gruyere cheese. Set aside