The Croque-Monsieur sandwich is classic French bistro fare. This past Monday I made these sandwiches for my husband and myself. They’re so decadent and delicious, and it was such a treat to have a long and lazy lunch in the middle of a busy work day (the perks of working from home). I had a few slices of sweet brioche leftover from a batch of weekend French toast. The bread is layered with a nutmeg-rich béchamel sauce, slices of ham, shredded gruyère and Dijon mustard. The sandwiches are topped with more béchamel and a sprinkle of thyme, then baked until golden and oozing. The sweet and savory combination is out of this world! I absolutely love gruyère cheese and every time I use it to make a gratin or French onion soup, I save a bit just so that I can make these sandwiches later in the week.
I hope this inspires you to do the same!
Croque-Monsieur with Brioche
(makes 2 sandwiches)
4 slices brioche bread
2 TBSP butter
1.5 TBSP flour
3/4 cup milk
1/8 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
pinch of salt
6 slices of uncured ham
1/2 cup grated gruyère cheese
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp dry thyme
Preheat the oven to 425F/220C. Line a sheet pan with parchment and set aside.
Make the béchamel by melting the butter in a small sauce pan. Whisk in the flour and cook about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk. Bring to a simmer and cook until thick and bubbly. Grate in the nutmeg and add a pinch of salt. Whisk to combine. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Place two slices of brioche on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread 1/4 of the béchamel sauce onto each slice of bread. Top each slice with the ham and a handful of grated gruyère cheese. Spread the Dijon mustard onto the other two slices of brioche. Place bread, mustard side down, on the ham and cheese. Pour the remaining béchamel over the sandwiches, spreading to the edges. Top with remaining cheese and a pinch of thyme.
Bake at 425F/220C for 15 mins, until bubbly and golden.