Croque Monsieur on the Grill Griddle
Adapted from BBQ Bistro by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig. One of the most popular sandwiches at a French café is this crunchy ham and cheese sandwich. Pain de mie or brioche would be excellent French bread to use. The classic sandwich recipe uses crustless bread, but since the sandwich is supposed to be crunchy, keep the crust if you like. We use a grill griddle on the grill for this recipe because the cheese will ooze out of the sandwich and a griddle allows for easier clean up.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
11/2 cups (375 ml) whole milk, hot
1/4 cup (30 g) Gruyère cheese, grated
1/4 cup (30 g) Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
8 slices bread 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick (like brioche, pain de mie, or sourdough)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup (60 g) ham, thinly sliced
1/2 cup (60 g) Gruyère or Emmental cheese, grated
Snipped chives, for garnish
Shavings of Gruyère, for garnish
For the Mornay Sauce, over low heat melt the butter in a small saucepan that can also be placed over the grill. Stir in the flour for about 2 minutes to make a paste (roux). Slowly add the hot milk whisking constantly until the sauce is thickened. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cheeses, hot sauce, and nutmeg. Set aside.
Prepare a medium-hot fire in your grill and set a grill griddle on top of the fire.
Place the eight pieces of bread on a baking sheet and lightly brush one side with the melted butter and turn bread butter side down. Lightly brush mustard on four of the bread slices, and then evenly layer the ham and then the cheese. Top with another piece of bread. Take the sandwiches and Mornay sauce out to the grill. Set the saucepan over the heat and stir until hot but do not let boil. Place the sandwiches over the fire and grill for about 4 minutes until toasty and golden brown. Turn the sandwiches and grill for another 4 minutes until toasty. Serve the sandwiches with Mornay sauce spooned over the top with a sprinkling of snipped chives and shavings of Gruyère.
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