It is the quintessential French sandwich on the menu of many good bistro in Paris. I smothered the sandwich, to please the purist, with a simple béchamel sauce. Please, see my earliest post on the white sauce.
Other variation use béchamel sauce (white sauce) as a spread for the sandwich, I use mustard which I prefer. Another option is to cook the ham before putting it in the sandwich. The aforementioned are ideas for the creative mind in cookery.
A croque Madame, the female counterpart of these sandwich, is usually topped with a fried egg. No worries, a croque has many names according to its provenance or content.
I used Emmental cheese. Using Gruyère would make it more “very” French. I only find Emmental in the market.
I did not put quantities. Only you know the amount of sandwiches you want to make. Also, look into my white sauce post for the béchamel sauce.
- Salt to taste
- Ham, sliced
- Firm sliced bread
- Dijon mustard
- Emmental cheese
- To make the béchamel warm up the milk to almost the boiling point. Make a roux with an equal amount of butter and flour and let it cool down.
- Pour the hot milk on the cooled roux, add a little Emmenthal cheese, a dash of nutmeg and salt to taste. Cook until the mixture thickens.
- Cut off the crust from the sliced bread, spread butter on one side and toast or grill to a nice color.
- Spread the untoasted side of the bread with mustard, rest a slice of ham and a slice of cheese. Do not be shy with the mustard, ham or cheese. After all, it is your sandwich so sculpture it according to your taste
- Top up with the other slice of bread. Toasted side up, facing you
- Put the sandwich in an ovenproof dish, smothered with béchamel sauce and grill until the cheese has melted and the béchamel nicely colored.