Simple Elegance with Emmi USA
There is something so simple comforting about a ham and cheese sandwich but this time of year I love to take the simple things and elevate them. I'm jazzing up a simple ham and cheese sandwich to a delicious, fancy and yet simple Croque Monsieur. I've teamed up with my friends at Emmi USA to share this Croque Monsieur using their incredible Emmi Gruyère for an unbelievable sandwich!
Croque Monsieur, you might have already guessed it but this lovely sandwich comes from France. It is a hot ham and cheese sandwich that became popular in cafe throughout Paris. A lot can be deciphered from the name itself, croque translates "to crunch" and the word monsieur, "mister". A formal crunchy sandwich perfect to enjoy for lunch or mini-sized as little appetizers.
When creating any recipe, quality ingredients are key. Especially when a dish has so few. Cheese is one of the stars of this dish and using a high quality cheese, such as Emmi Gruyère is highly encouraged. I use Emmi Gruyère when I want to upgrade a recipe such as this one.
This cheese on its own is UNBELIEVABLE and perfect for a snacking board, but it also really gives this Croque Monsieur a level of elegance and depth for the perfect bite. Emmi Gruyère cheese is crafted in Switzerland where they have been using the same recipe for more than 900 years.
Bread - Simplicity in bread is best for this recipe. I like to use a hearty white bread - letting the ingredients shine through.
Emmi Gruyère Cheese - Delicious, tangy Emmi Gruyère is the perfect cheese for this dish. It allows the flavors to come through and all meld together.
Ham - A thin sliced, high-quality ham is best for this recipe. Ask your deli to slice thin when ordering.
Béchamel Sauce - Béchamel sauce is a white sauce that is created by using flour, butter and milk. This sauce is what set this sandwich apart from others. We're going to make it even better by adding in some Emmi Gruyère cheese.
Pantry Seasonings - We're going to be adding some pantry seasonings to our dish including: butter salt, pepper, nutmeg, herbes de provence and mustard.
Preparing Gruyère Béchamel Sauce
Making béchamel is much easier than it sounds. It's the sauce of choice for my family and used in many of our pasta dishes, including both a traditional macaroni and cheese and this Lebanese version of macaroni and cheese. A few simple ingredients and steps and you can have this sauce made and on hand when you need it.
Melt butter - Melt your butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan on medium-high heat.
Add Flour - Add your flour and begin whisking into your butter until heated and starts to slightly bubble, 2-3 minutes - this is your roux.
Add Milk - Gradually add in your milk, begin slowly and whisk to incorporate into your roux, continue adding and whisking until fully incorporated.
Whisk - Continue whisking your roux and milk mixture continuously until your mixture begins to thicken. You'll know it's thick when it coats the back of a spoon.
Add Cheese - Add in ½ cup of grated Emmi Gruyère.
Season - Remove from heat and season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, herbes de provence and a touch of dijon mustard.
Pro Tip: Make your Béchamel Sauce ahead, cover with plastic wrap (be sure to have wrap touching sauce to avoid a film) and pop into fridge. Pull out to use when ready to assemble sandwiches as a spread.
Assembling your Croque Monsieur
If you're making one sandwich you can certainly do all of this in a single frying pan. For a family of 5 or if you're entertaining, I love doing it simply on a sheet pan in the oven. It definitely speeds things up and gives me perfect results!
Line your sheet pan - I'm all about easy cleanup, grab a sheet of parchment paper or foil and line your sheet pan.
Bread - Butter one of side of your bread and lay facing up (you'll butter the other side once after this side is toasted).
Bake - We're going to toast the first side of our bread, flip then do the otherside before adding the rest of our ingredients.
Assemble - Once both sides of your bread are toasted, spread a layer of your cheese béchamel sauce, add Emmi Gruyère cheese and a slice of ham. Top with 2nd half of bread, spread another thin layer of béchamel sauce and Emmi Gruyère cheese.
Bake - Bake for 5 minutes and then broil for another 3-5 minutes until tops are bubbly and and lightly browned. Sprinkle with herbes de provence. Serve warm.
Add an egg - Yes, add a sunnyside or poached egg to the top of sandwich and you've just made a Croque Madame.
Skip the Béchamel - Short on time? Skip the béchamel and spread a smear of dijon mustard and crème fraîche. Extra Emmi Gruyère for sure!
Omit the Butter - You can always simply toast the bread before assembling omitting the butter if you choose. I personally love the added hint of salty butter to my sandwich!
As always, I love seeing your creations. Please leave a review or share your dish with me on social media #cosetteskitchen which lets me know what is working for you! You can also tag my friends at Emmi Gruyère. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. For more delicious recipes to your inbox, sign up for my newsletter!
This post is sponsored by Emmi Gruyère , all opinions and ideas are my own.
An incredibly delicious and simple French sandwich using Emmi Gruyère cheese.
- 8 slices of fresh bakery style bread
- 2 cups Emmi Gruyère cheese, shredded and divided
- 4-8 slices of thinly sliced ham
- 2 tablespoons butter + additional for spreading
- 1 cup whole milk (can use 2%)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt*
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon herbes de provence + additional for topping
- In a heavy bottomed pot, heat your 2 tablespoons of butter on medium-high heat.
- Once butter is melted, add in your flour and begin whisking until it bubbles and a thick paste begins to form, about 2 minutes.
- Slowly begin pouring in your milk while simultaneously whisking. Continue pouring and whisking until all your milk is incorporated.
- Continue to whisk ensuring mixture doesn't stick to the bottom of your pot. The sauce will begin to thicken, about 3-5 minutes depending on your stove.
- You'll know it's ready when it coats the back of a spoon.
- Remove from heat and add in ⅓ of your shredded Emmi Gruyère , salt, pepper, nutmeg, mustard and herbes de provence. Stir until fully combined and cheese is melted.
- Set aside.*
Croque Monsieur Assembly
- Heat your oven to broil with rack on upper third of your oven.
- Prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Lay your bread slices and butter one side - place under broil for 2-3 minutes until it begins to brown. Keep a watch on them as all broilers vary in heat.
- Remove, flip bread, butter other side and repeat in broiler.
- Lower oven temperature to 425 degrees.
- Spread some bechamel sauce on one side of your bread, sprinkle Emmi Gruyère, add a slice or two of ham then top with your other slice of bread.
- On the top side of your bread, spread another bit of bechamel sauce and more Emmi Gruyère.
- Finally finish with a sprinkle of herbes de provence.
- Place in oven and bake for 5 minutes, then broil once again for 3-5 minutes until top is golden and bubbly.
- Remove from oven, cut and enjoy immediately.
- Salt - If using table salt, cut in half. Always taste your sauce and undersalt, you can always add more.
- Butter - I use salted butter for this dish but if you use unsalted, you may want to increase your salt slightly.
- Omit the Butter - You can always simply toast the bread before assembling omitting the butter if you choose. I personally love the added hint of salty butter to my sandwich!
- Appetizer - Make bite sized or cut in pieces for a simple party appetizer.
- Yes, add a sunnyside or poached egg to the top of sandwich and you've just made a Croque Madame.
- Skip the Béchamel - Short on time? Skip the béchamel and spread a smear of dijon mustard and crème fraîche. Extra Emmi Gruyère for sure!
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