Life has been kickin’ me in the butt so hard that I haven’t had the energy to even call for takeout. The thought of getting home at 8ish, walking and feeding the furbabies and then trying to make dinner just had me thinking “sandwich” but, it was Thursday – time for a Barefoot Blogger challenge. The latest challenge was Croque Monsieur, a classic french sandwich. When I was trying to explain it earlier to someone, they were like “But it’s ham and cheese – how hard can that be?”
I have to confess - making my own cheese sauce scared the living daylights out of me. I had visions of screwing it up so horribly that I was tempted to say “enough” and wuss out. I’m so glad I didn’t. This was a recipe that I have wanted to try since I saw her do it on a past episode but, like I said above, the bechamel sauce was something I thought was beyond me.
Guess what – not to toot my own horn but I rocked that sauce! And, now that I’ve tried this and accomplished it, I’ll be trying to make more dishes and not be so scared. I cut the recipe in half and that worked out fine. It still made alot but hello – leftovers!
This recipe will be added to the tried & true arsenal as well. Give it a shot – you won’t be disappointed. Much thanks to the Barefoot Bloggers and Kathy of All Food Considered for putting forth this challenge and helping this gal come out of her culinary shell.
Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten, 2004 – Barefoot In Paris
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere, and the Parmesan and set aside.
To toast the bread, place the slices on 2 baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes, until toasted.
Lightly brush half the toasted breads with mustard, add a slice of ham to each, and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyere. Top with another piece of toasted bread. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned. Serve hot.
**Note: The pic of the Croque Monsieur made CinS wonky last night and had to be removed. Will reload at a later time. Tried to post it last night but that also crashed the site. Egads!**
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