Ham and Cheese Crunches Croque-Monsieur
The cafés and bistros
in Paris are busy at lunchtime with large
numbers of local diners and tourists. Smart
Parisians know the right places to find appealing
sandwiches. First served in 1910 at a Parisian
café, this version of a ham and cheese
sandwich is still popular today. The name croque-monsieur literally
means "crunch-sir." Try this popular version
of a bistro recipe and you will say, "Vive
- 8 slices thin sandwich bread
- 4 slices smoked or boiled ham (1 ounce
- 4 ounces Gruyère or Swiss cheese
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
On Your Mark,
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Cut away the crusts of the bread with
a sharp knife. Discard the crusts. Lay
4 of the slices on a small baking sheet.
- Cut the ham so it neatly fits the slices
of bread, with none extending over the
sides. You will probably have more than
one layer of ham, but that is okay.
- Grate the Gruyère or Swiss cheese
into a small bowl. Add the milk and combine
with the cheese.
- Spoon one-quarter of the cheese mixture
on top of the ham on one sandwich, and
cover with a slice of bread.
- With a pastry brush, butter the top
slice. Carefully turn the sandwich over
and butter the bottom slice.
- Repeat these steps to assemble the other
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and
bake the sandwiches for 10 to 15 minutes,
or until the cheese melts and the bread
just begins to brown.
- Turn the oven to broil. Brown the sandwiches
under the broiler for 1 minute on each
side. If necessary, reshape the sandwiches
with a spatula after you turn them, tapping
in the sides like a deck of cards. Be careful
not to let them burn.
- Lift the finished crunches off the baking
sheet with a spatula to a serving dish.
Let cool for a moment, cut into quarters,
and serve hot.