For this weeks #ComfortFoodFeast on FN Dish, we are making grilled cheese! Yes, a classic, comforting, and cheesy dish that everyone loves!
To add a cultural twist to this comforting classic, lets go to Paris, the city of love! Back in 1910, when Parisians were sipping there drinks at the local cafe, the Croque Monsieur appeared as a menu item! Okay, maybe it didn't happen quite like that, but the Croque Monsieur did make its first appearance in the early 1900's.
So what is this Croque Monsieur I speak of? I like to think of it as amazingly delicious, upscale twist to the grilled cheese. It is served with ham, cheese (typically Gruyere) and bechamel sauce. This sandwich is also considered to be open-faced since you melt cheese on top! Mmmmmmm!
Since Monsieur is Mister in French, the female variation of this sandwich is called the Croque Madame. The difference with the Croque Madame is that it is usually served with a poached or fried egg on top. Holy yes!
-2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon melted
-2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
-1 cup whole milk
-Pinch of ground nutmeg
-4 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed (optional)
-4 ounces sliced baked ham
-6 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (roughly 2 healthy cups)
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon pepper
-1/4 cup grated Gruyere or Parmesan (yes, more cheese)
Preheat your broiler.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat and then add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the milk, and cook, whisking constantly until the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and in the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/4 cup Gruyere and/or Parmesan cheese and set aside.
On a clean work surface, lay out your pieces of bread and top each half of bread with a slice of ham and sprinkle of Gruyere. Place another slice of bread on top and lightly brush each side of the sandwich with the melted butter. Repeat with remaining slices.
Transfer the sandwhiches to a skillet and cook for about 2 minutes per side, or until the bread starts to turn a golden brown. Transfer the sandwhiches to a baking sheet and spoon the sauce and remaining cheese over the top. Broil until the cheese melts and is bubbly - about 2 minutes.
Serve hot and enjoy!
**To make this a Croque Monsier, follow all of the above steps. Once you are done broiling your sandwhiches, set aside and prepare eggs. Heat a skillet with a tablespoon of butter and crack two to four eggs into the skillet. Cover the skillet and fry the eggs until the white are cooked but yolks are still a little runny (roughly 3 minutes). You can also pouch your eggs.
For more great grilled cheese recipes, visit the links below: