Saturday, December 26, 2009

Croque Monsieur

It's Boxing Day and if you aren't going to the cricket or braving the sales than you're probably at home  trying to take it easy. Unfortunately you'll also probably be confronted with a fridge that's bulging full of leftovers and while cooking might be the last thing on our minds we should be utilising this bounty of excess rather than consigning it to the bin.

So here's a quick and easy - always a bonus - and rather luxurious way to deal with those leftovers, in this case, it's the familiar sight of Baked Ham.

baked ham© by haalo


It won't matter how small your ham was there's always going to be leftovers and rather than make boring old ham sandwiches, make Croque monsieur.

Croque Monsieur is a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. It also gets a little extra flavour in the form of Dijon mustard. My decadent substitution is this - Truffle Mustard.

truffle mustard© by Haalo


One whiff of this and you'll be hooked though I know people will be rolling their eyes as they do to truffle honey but it is seriously their loss.

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Look inside and you'll see the lovely flecks of truffle through the mustard - the flavour in this isn't derived by a chemical, it's from the real thing.

To assemble the croque-monsieur - take slices of a good bread, I used some leftover kibbled sour dough for a little texture. Spread the mustard on both sides and then cover one side with thick slices of ham.

Next up is the cheese. There's a couple of ways you can do this - a simple way is to just use either Gruyère or Emmental or you can go the béchamel route. In some areas a béchamel type sauce will be made and this is spread over the ham and also over the top.

As I've got some leftover béchamel in the fridge, I've done it both ways.

croque monsieur© by Haalo


In this first example, I've topped the ham with a mix of thick béchamel and grated Gruyère and then grilled it in the sandwich press.

croque monsieur© by Haalo


In this version, it's sliced Gruyère over the ham and cooked as above. Once done, spread the top with béchamel and a light sprinkling of grated Gruyère - place this under a griller to brown the top.

It's cheesy, easy and delicious!

9 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, that looks divine! I hope you had a Merry Christmas and I look forward to more of your wonderful posts in the New Year.

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  2. See this is the problem with not having Christmas at my house...no leftovers.

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  3. Happy Holidays, Haalo,and my best wishes for a wonderful 2010!
    We are plenty of leftovers, we had 'xmas Eve and 'Xmas lunch with all our realtives at our home this year...but no problems with my hungry sons...and I am relaxing out of the kitchen!

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  4. that looks incredibly delicious. I especially like your second take on it with the cheese both oozing out from the inside and bubbling on top. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas filled with tasty food! :)

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  5. Thanks Adrasteia - hope you also had a wonderful christmas and here's to more delicious things in 2010!

    That is a problem Pam!

    Thanks Cinzia and my best to you and your family!

    Thanks Jara - plenty of tasty food and more to come!

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  6. those sammies looks too good!!!!! i simply love the draping cheese inside and all over the sammies!

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  7. Oh my! I've got to get the ingredients and make one of these!

    Paz

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  8. Got to agree with truffle mustard, we've been addicts for a while now, seriously good stuff. No ham this year, but I will find a way to make some of these for our Polish visitors.

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  9. Thanks Lululu - oozy cheese is always a good look in my book ;)

    You must Paz!

    It's just the best Neil - I just want to keep finding things to use with it

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