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Croque Monsieur

French bistro classics from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School… Join Martha as she re-creates four French bistro recipes you can make at home, including lamb navarin, Niçoise salad, croque monsieur, and celery-root remoulade.

Makes 4 Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk, heated
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 8 slices toasted or grilled country bread, sliced ¼” thick
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 pound baked ham, such as prosciutto cotto or jamon royale
  • Pinch herbes de Provence
  • Cornichons

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Make the bechamel: Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high, and slowly add hot milk. Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and add salt, pepper, nutmeg, and 1/2 cup Gruyere.
  3. Lightly brush 4 slices bread with mustard. Add 1 slice baked ham to each, and sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons Gruyere. Top with 4 more slices toasted bread. Slather tops with bechamel, and sprinkle with remaining Gruyere and herbes de Provence.
  4. Bake sandwiches until topping is lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve hot with cornichons.