So I am a sucker for a good romcom (or romantic comedy for those of you who aren't privy to how the kids are talking). Nine times out of ten, when I choose a movie to watch, it will either be a book-adapted-to-film or just an ole' feel good romcom. That being said, It's Complicated is one of my favorite movies. I know, I know...so cheesy, but I'd watch this over Gone with the Wind or The Godfather any day!
At one point in the movie, Meryl Streep's character makes a Croque Monsieur. The first time I saw this, I had no idea what a Croque Monsieur even was. A quick Google search and you would have thought I was Columbus discovering America. What a beautiful way to make a ham sandwich!
There are tons of variations to this French dish, but I like mine with an egg on top, otherwise known as a Croque Madame. I always serve this decadent sandwich with a light salad on the side to cut through the richness. So if you have it in you to take a few more steps to make the best sandwich ever, I assure you that this will be one of the best things you taste all week!
black forest ham
shredded gruyere (2 ounces for each sandwich)
fresh grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Make the bechamel sauce (recipe below). Preheat large skillet over medium heat. Turn broiler in oven on high.
Spread Dijon mustard on one side of bread and bechamel on the other. Top with 4-5 slices of ham and thev close up the sandwich. Melt butter and olive oil in the preheated skillet. Toast sandwiches on both sides until each side is golden brown.
Remove from pan and place the toasted sandwiches on a foil lined sheet pan, Top each sandwich with more bechamel and then top that with gruyere and some fresh grated Parmesan. Place pan in oven and broil until cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. I served ours with an arugula salad tossed with a lemon-honey-mustard vinaigrette and some shaved Parmesan.
:: note ::
I did not list amounts because it will change depending on how many sandwiches you are making and the size of the bread. The recipe I listed below will make enough bechamel for about four large sandwiches. Plan for about two ounces of gruyere for each normal size sandwich.
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup flour
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
a touch of fresh grated nutmeg (or a pinch of dry)
In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk in until smooth. Continue to cook for another two minutes to cook out the raw flavor of the flour. Gradually add 1 cup of milk while whisking to eliminate any lumps. Increase the heat just a touch to bring sauce to a low boil. Gradually add the rest of the milk while whisking the entire time.
Once the sauce has come up to a boil, this will thicken the sauce. Now is the time to add the salt, pepper, dry mustard, garlic powder, hot sauce and nutmeg. Continue whisking and reduce the heat to low. This will be thicker than a normal bechamel because you will need to spread it on the sandwiches.
Same as above, however, you top the sandwich with a sunny side up egg. Ever since I read this technique on The Pioneer Woman, I've never made it another way. This method works like a charm every time!