Croque Monsieur

French Appetizer



6 ounces sliced Gruyère cheese
4 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
8 slices white bread
6 ounces sliced ham, thin but not paper thin

2 ounces grated Gruyère cheese


Preheat oven to 375 degrees and set to broil. Slice 6 ounces of Gruyère cheese. Grate 4 ounces of Gruyère cheese.

Use medium heat to melt butter in small pot. Add 1/2 of the melted butter to pan. (Reserve half of the butter.) Add flour. Cook at low-medium heat for 2 minutes. Stir frequently. Add milk, nutmeg, pepper, and bay leaf. Cook at medium heat for 8 minutes or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat. Remove bay leaf. Set aside sauce. Stir with whisk or fork until blended.

Top a bread slice with 1/4th of the ham and 1/4th of the sliced cheese. Top with second bread slice. Repeat for 3 more sandwiches. Brush each sandwich with 1/4th of the remaining melted butter. Put sandwiches in pan and fry at medium heat for 2 minutes per sandwich side or until golden brown.

Put sandwiches on baking sheet. Spoon sauce and grated cheese evenly over the 4 sandwiches. Broil at 375 degrees for 2-to-4 minutes or until cheese on top starts to brown.


1) This recipe uses flour. Flower and flour are homonyms. It’s important not to get the two words mixed up. Putting flours, say white and wheat, in your sweetheart’s hair will not get you a kiss on the lips. Indeed, your sweetheart is more likely to snarl, grab a kitchen mallet, and approach you. Run.

2) And don’t use flowers in this recipe. Doing so will probably not enhance the taste of this dish nor even its texture. And my gosh, don’t even think of using the flower deadly nightshade as an ingredient. It’s poisonous. Accidental culinary deaths are bad. Deliberate culinary murders are always bad. Just say no to culinary murders.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on

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