Recipes

Croque Monsieur vs Croque Madame

Croque Monsieur vs Croque Madame - Bruno Albouze - THE REAL DEAL

Croque Monsieur Recipe

Makes 6 Sandwiches.
Toasting Bread
For my bread loaf recipe, watch: Whole Wheat Pain de Mie Recipe Video.
One 9x4x4 pullman loaf pan holds about 18 slices (9 sandwiches).

12 slices of whole wheat pain de mie or white loaf bread, country bread, brioche, challah bread etc… crust trimmed off, buttered and toasted.
3 Tbsp (45g) melted butter or olive oil for 12 toasts.
Position rack in middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 450°F (230ºC). Toast the buttered pain de mie for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. The bread slices can also be toasted using a toaster or in a hot non-stick skillet or griddle. Let cool.

Mornay Sauce*(Béchamel enriched with Cheese, sometimes with yolks and cream).
2 cups (500ml) whole milk
3 Tbsp (45g) unsalted butter
3 Tbsp (30g) all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp (30g) sour cream, crème fraiche or heavy cream (optional)
2 ea. (40g) egg yolks
5 ounces (150g) Emmental or Gruyère cheese, shredded
1.9 ounces (50g) Parmesan, shredded
Salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste and a pinch of cayenne or chili pepper.
*Croque monsieur can be made without sauce. If so, layer cheese and ham between 2 toasted slices of bread and sear both side in a hot skillet with butter and olive oil and serve.

Method
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Mix in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit, but don't let it brown; about a minute. Add the cool or lukewarm milk, continuing to whisk as the sauce thickens and bring it to a boil and cook for 2 minutes whisking swiftly on medium hight heat. Remove from the heat. Mix in cream, egg yolks and cheeses. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste and add a pinch of cayenne pepper. To cool the mornay, cover it with wax paper or a film in contact to prevent a skin from forming. Place bowl over ice water to cool it faster. Mornay can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. Do not freeze.

Assembly for 6 Croque Monsieur
12 slices Emmental, Gruyère or Cheddar cheese (use 2 or 1 slice of cheese per sandwich)
6 slices uncured ham
Mornay sauce
Dijon mustard (optional)
Toppings
3 ounces (90g) Emmental or Gruyère cheese, shredded
1.9 ounces (50g) Parmesan, shredded.

Method
Dot toasted bread with mornay sauce. Add a slice of cheese and a teaspoon of Dijon mustard and cover with ham then add a second layer of cheese. Coat the second slice of bread with mornay, flip over the ham to seal the sandwich. Cover generously each sandwich with more sauce and top with shredded cheeses and bake. Each finished sandwich should weight about 8 ounces (240g). The recipe of mornay sauce calls for about 8 croque monsieur; save remaining sauce for later use or make 2 more sandwiches.

Baking
Position rack in middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 450°F (230ºC). Bake croque monsieur for about 10 minutes and finish under the broiler for 5 minutes or until brown and bubbling. Remove from the oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving.
Unbaked croque monsieur can be refrigerated for 3 days; wrapped in plastic. Baked croque monsieur can be refrigerated for 4 days; wrapped in plastic. Microwave before serving. Avoid freezer except for the bread itself.

For the Croque Madame
In a hot non-stick skillet (Use a greased pastry or English muffin ring to make the egg perfectly round). Fry egg on medium heat, season with fleur de sel, black ground pepper and paprika or cayenne pepper or both. Slide fried egg over the baked croque monsieur and serve!..

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