Saturday, November 7, 2015

Croque Monsieur Sandwiches, perfect for fall!

Hello, everybody! The Fresh Pioneer is back and I have a delicious sandwich that I'm sure most of you have tried before. It's one of those famous French dishes and it's true, the French (at least where I lived) eat them about as often as we eat grilled cheese, or BLTs. But I'd never made one, or tried to, until I saw Mary's post on sandwich day. Maybe it's because I know I'd have trouble getting the ingredients, or maybe I hadn't tried before because my kids were in the "only eat mac and cheese stage". But I carpe diemed and made a croque monsieur! 
The bread is traditionally a brioche, which is very sweet. I knew I couldn't find brioche here, and I was too lazy to make my own, so I googled and saw people substituting potato bread for brioche. Brilliant! It is definitely a sweeter bread, not like sourdough. 
Good ham, Gruyere cheese, Parmesan cheese, and Gouda cheese. Some people leave off the Gouda but I like the meltiness. (That's a word. Just go with it.)
 Mustard! I love all kinds of mustard, but traditionally the sandwich has a strong ground mustard. I let the kids choose which one they wanted. Walla Walla Sweet Onion and Red Bell Pepper, Grey Poupon, or Sweet onion.
 It occurred to me later I could have used parchment paper... But you can butter the sheet, too.
 Grate the Gruyere. Try not to nibble.
 Spread the first slice with mustard and then some Gruyere.
 Two slices of ham. Some people fold it up to make a fatter sandwich but I like the edges to get crispy.
 Sprinkle with a little Parmesan. Add two very thin slices of Gouda, if desired.
 Spread a little butter on the top slice, sprinkle with a little more Gruyere, and a little more Parmesan.
 Yay! Fifteen minutes on 425F, and then two minutes under the broiler (check every 20 seconds or so in case it starts to brown too quickly).
 The Gouda/ Gruyere mix is melting nicely.
 With some fresh pears and a little salad, a perfect Fall meal!
 A close up... It was a definite hit with the kids, even the little guys who said the cheese was stinky and they were sure they wouldn't like it.
 It's apple season here and we're enjoying the last of the bright, shining Fall days!
 Also, Pink Lady apples are finally in season so we had to run get some (they're back row, right side, the pink ones). I'm not a Cameo or Gala fan so all we picked up today were Fuji, Granny Smith, Red Delicious, and some Anjou pears.

That's all for now! I've got a new book out now (see below) and I'm taking a break for a little bit! You can always find me at my author page of Mary Jane Hathaway or my blog The Things That Last. Happy fall, everybody!!

                                                                         Available now!

Edit: I just saw that Jan made these in March! But looking at her post, I can see hers has the bechamel sauce on rye and mine has Gouda and Gruyere on brioche, so we'll pretend this is a completely different variety! hmmmm. I lived in the North. I wonder where her recipe comes from?


  1. Mmmmmm -- yum. I can make this vegetarian by grilling some veggies...thinking peppers and mushrooms. Love all that melty cheese on top.

    1. Mmmmm! I would think mushrooms would be this so delicious, but also a little more juicy so you might need a less fragile bread. Maybe Jan's rye?

  2. I'm such a cheese nut, this is right up my alley! I had a thought when I looked at your photo that thin sliced pears might be good inside the sandwich!

    1. Pears are in season here and we are SO spoiled! We can get several different varieties but I do love a crisp pear.

  3. Missy, I had the same thought about the sliced apples!

    Virginia, I'm so glad you made this! It looks fabulous. A few weeks ago, I met an out-of-town writer friend for dinner. We went to an upscale food court and then went and sat out by the Hudson River to eat. I got a pulled pork sandwich but she got some fancy grilled ham and cheese. It really looked good.

    1. I've never had a pulled pork sandwich but a few weeks ago I tried to make a pulled pork dish I saw on Diners, Drive ins and Dives. It was AMAZING. We don't really have BBQ here so it was really special!

    2. Virginia, I'm glad you got to try pulled pork! We have barbecue restaurants like crazy around here. It's one of my favorite foods. :)

    3. Kristen E posts about pulled pork A LOT. After a while, I thought, "I have to try this." lol