In keeping up with my obsession with Paris, I decided to make a vegetarian croque-monsieur. If you’ve never had a croque-monsieur before, it’s basically a glorified French grilled ham and expensive-cheese sandwich. Well ham is not so much our cup of tea, so instead we used tomato.
It doesn’t take very long to make either!
Here’s what you need:
•2 tablespoons butter, plus another tablespoon to spread on the bread
•1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
•1 cup milk (I used nonfat)
•1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
•1/4 teaspoon salt & pepper each
•4 slices French loaf
•4-6 oz. Gruyere cheese (cut into slices, and some grated)
•1 tomato, thinly sliced
•2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Preheat your oven to 375°F
You’re going to start by making a beschamel sauce. Heat two tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan and melt it over low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 30 seconds to create a roux. Add the milk and with a spatula or wooden spoon, stir until the mixture becomes thick. You can have the milk warmed or leave it cold. Leaving it cold will just take longer. Once the sauce is thickened, take it off the heat and add the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Give it a good whisk then set it aside.
Slice up a French loaf into four slices that will sandwich well together. Heat a pan or skillet. Assemble your sandwiches by spreading 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, per sandwich, doing a layer of cheese, some tomato then cheese again and then topping the other slice. Once you have both sandwiches built, add 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan and let it melt. Then add either one or both sandwiches to the pan to lightly grill them. You don’t want to completely cook up the sandwiches, you want to get the bread lightly brown and the cheese slightly melted.
On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, place both sandwiches on the pan. Spread the beschamel sauce on top of each sandwich and top with grated Gruyere cheese. Bake the sandwiches for 5-10 minutes or until melted and golden brown. Then turn on the broiler and with the door open, let it broil so the top gets very brown and crispy!
You have to keep your eye on it because you don’t want it to burn! But when it’s done, you’ll know! Let it sit for 1-2 minutes before you cut into it and then enjoy! We served it up with a salad of mixed green and our homemade lemon vinaigrette.
What are your favorite variations of grilled cheese?