The classic Croque Monsieur is the perfect holiday appetizer as it’s easy to make, easy on the budget, and certainly a crowd-pleaser. New York City caterer, Diane Gordon, shares her recipe saying, “I love this particular version, because we use quality ingredients that are easily accessible and it can be whipped up at a moment’s notice.” It’s also adaptable. While Diane prefers to use a rustic country ham, deli-style black forest is fine, too. Either way, it’s simply delicious!
Mini Croque Monsieurs
Recipe courtesy of Diane Gordon Catering, NYC
Yields 32 pieces
For the Bechamel Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups of whole milk, warmed over low heat
1/2 cup grated Jarlsberg cheese
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper
For the Sandwiches:
16 slices brioche or white bread, crusts trimmed
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
16 slices French ham (or Black Forest)
8 slices Jarlsberg cheese
1/2 stick butter, melted
2 cups bechamel sauce (recipe below)
1/2 cup Jarlsberg cheese, grated
For the sauce: Over low heat, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and stir for about one minute. Slowly pour in warmed milk and cook whisking constantly until the sauce thickens. Add the grated cheese off the heat and stir until it melts. Season with the nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Set the sauce aside.
For the sandwiches: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush one side of eight bread slices with Dijon mustard. Place ham slice on top, cover with nechamel sauce, add second ham slice and one slice of Jarlsberg cheese. Finish with slice of bread; gently press on each sandwich.
Brush both sides of the sandwiches with the melted butter. Heat a non-stick pan and sauté sandwiches over medium flame until golden brown on both sides. Transfer sandwiches to a parchment lined baking sheet. Cut each sandwich into quarters and top each quarter with bechamel sauce (save any extra for another use). Sprinkle grated cheese on top and place the baking sheet in oven. Bake 4 – 5 minutes until the cheese turns golden – be careful not to let the cheese burn.