Last month, the boys and I went on a three week adventure in Europe. It was a blast, and one of the things we came away with was an intense love of French food. The boys especially loved the croque monsieur sandwiches that they had in the bistros throughout the city. I decided to recreate that experience for them here at home, and I am happy to announce that my version of the rustic croque monsieur recipe was a hit with all the boys who are now begging me to make it again.
The key ingredient for an excellent croque monsieur is great quality cheese. After all, you can’t make a great ham and cheese sandwich without quality cheese can you? When we are looking for delicious cheese, Sargento is always our first choice, and Sargento® Sliced Cheese was the perfect choice for this recipe. Sargento Slices are 100% real, natural cheese cut off the block, so you never have to wonder about what you’re getting. Processed cheese food is only required by the FDA to have 51% cheese in it. I wonder what the other 49% is made of?
With 23 different varieties of cheese available, there is always a Sargento Foods product to fit your recipe needs. Of course, if you are pregnant like me and craving cheese, then eating the slices straight out of the package is always a great way to go.
Croque Monsieur sandwiches are traditionally made with Gruyere cheese, but I prefer the more mild taste of Provolone, so that is what I chose to go with for my recipe creation. Paired with fresh tavern ham and a freshly made batch of bechamel sauce, this is a really winner for any recipe collection.
Rustic Croque Monsieur
- Good quality fresh, rustic bread slices
- Sargento Provolone cheese slices
- Tavern ham slices
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 3/4 cup milk
- herbs de provence
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt one tablespoon of butter. Add in 1 tablespoon of flour and stir frequently until the mixture begins to brown. Slowly add in all of the milk stirring or mixing well until all lumps are out.
3. Continue to cook the bechamel sauce mixture over medium heat until it thickens and gets an elastic type feel to it. Remove from the heat and add one Sargento Provolone cheese slice. Stir well until completely melted. Set sauce aside to cool.
4. Spread bechamel sauce on two slices of bread and place them bechamel side up on a cookie sheet or baking rack. Top with three slices of tavern ham and two slices of Sargento Provolone cheese.
5. Top two more slices of cheese with a generous amount of bechamel sauce and place bechamel side up on top of your sandwiches. Top each sandwich with two more slices of provolone cheese and sprinkle lightly with herbs de provence.
6. Place the sandwiches in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the top if browned and beginning to