The Croque Monsieur sandwich is one of the best things to come out of France – it’s the king of ham and cheese toasties! These warm and crunchy party food versions are perfect as you can just pick them up with one hand. The toasted bread holds just the right sized amount of delicious cheesy roux sauce without getting soggy, while smoked ham, cheese and mustard make up the delicious classic filling.
Whenever I try a classic recipe, I can’t help but to research every last detail. What kind of bread is best? Which cheese to use? To toast or not to toast? I just happen to be quite particular and want the food to be just right, after being disappointed too many times with bad versions. So trust me, I have done my Croque Monsieur recipe research, and it’s also safe to say that I’ve sampled a fair few in my lifetime, in and out of France! I knew that I didn’t want soggy plastic white bread, overpowering mustard or overly goopy roux sauce on top
Turkish bread is the perfect choice for these party food sandwiches, as it’s long, flat shape cut into thin slices makes the ideal size. I find I can get 20 sandwiches from one loaf of Turkish bread. I would count on 2 per guest – because it is very hard to stop at just one
The slices are lined up on a baking tray to be toasted under the grill/broiler for a few minutes. While this is happening, brush them with some melted butter then make your classic roux sauce with the remaining butter, flour and milk.
You want to toast the bread on one side only. That’s because this is going to be the crunchy outside and we need it to not go soggy under the roux. Once the bread is toasted on one side, turn over half the slices. Onto this soft non-toasted half, spread some dijon mustard, a good handful of grated cheese, then a nice portion of ham.Top the ham with the other slices (toasted side up). Then top each sandwich with about a heaped teaspoon of roux, then more grated cheese. Place back under the grill for another 5 minutes or until the top is bubbling and slightly browned.
Warning: these are very addictive! These are nice either fresh out of the oven, or cooled to room temperature if you wanted to prepare them in advance. They also travel well – you could precook them at home, then stack in a container (just place some baking paper between layers), and then pop into the oven to warm right before you want to serve.
Your party guests will love these. Vive la France!
Here is your recipe for Mini Croque Monsieur Sandwiches:
- 2 Turkish Bread loaves
- 200 g / 7oz sliced smoked ham
- 300g /2 cups grated cheese
- 5 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 cups milk
- Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper. Cut the turkish bread loaves lengthways into 2cm thick slices, about 40 each loaf and set onto the trays.
- In a medium pot, melt the butter until foaming. While you do this, brush the bread slices on one side with some of the melted butter. Place under the grill to toast on this one side for 5 minutes or until light brown. Take out of oven.
- Make the roux: When the butter is foaming, add flour and whisk until a paste is formed. Add the milk about a tablespoon at a time, stirring in between until all incorporated. Season and reduce heat. Continue to cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
- Out of the oven, turn over half the bread slices. Onto these non-toasted halves, spread some dijon mustard, a good handful of grated cheese, then a nice portion of ham.
- Top the ham with the other bread slices (toasted side up). Top each sandwich with a tablespoon of roux, then more grated cheese. Place back under the grill for another 5 minutes or until the top is bubbling and browned.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
-My roux quantities include extra butter for brushing the bread. If you are simply making a roux I would use 2T butter to 2T flour.