Croque Monsieur

I’m working through shaking off the Packers’ loss, and I hope you are too.  Although I am still quite sad and disappointed over how the season ended, I’ve managed to drag myself out of bed after I realized that sobbing in a fetal position is no way to go through life.  Not to dwell, but weren’t you so looking forward to a few weekends of playoffs, and then a Packers Super Bowl repeat?  Football has a twisted way of giving purpose to dismal late January weekends — but the football gods just weren’t with us on Sunday.  I’m here today to help us all make the best of a bad situation.  I find that French food can help.  A lot.

This awesome sandwich isn’t heart healthy or swimsuit friendly.  But the Packers broke my heart on Sunday and I’ve no plans to wear a bikini today, so I just ate the photo shoot and washed it down with the beer you see in the background.

I’m such a rebel.

On a happier note, it’s only 80 days until the Brewers Opening Day!

SERVES:  4 to 8
SOURCE:  Barefoot in Paris, by Ina Garten.  Copyright 2004 .  p. 48-49.

2 T. butter
3 T. flour
2 c. hot milk
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
pinch of nutmeg
12 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated (about 5 cups); divided
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
16 slices good quality white sandwich bread, crusts removed (I used Sendik’s Artisan Country French Bread)
Dijon mustard
1/2 lb. Black Forest ham, sliced thin but not falling apart (Sendik’s Black Forest Ham is on sale this week, 1/18/12 – 1/24/12)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan, and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes.  Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened.  Off the heat, add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere and the Parmesan and set aside.

To toast the bread, place the slices on two baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes.  Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes, until toasted.  Lightly brush half the toasted breads with mustard, add a slice of ham to each, and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyere.  Top with another piece of toasted bread.  Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes.  Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes (watch sandwiches carefully), or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned.  Serve immediately.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous, News | January 17th, 2012