Sunday, October 18, 2015

Croque Monsieur Pie

There was frost on the pumpkin this morning and that means that it is time for those delicious hot sandwiches and warming cups of soup. As I was shivering while making my way to the thermostat this morning spying an in-house temperature of 61 and flipping the setting from heat to cool, I grabbed my To Dobinder (Yes, in addition to various lists, I also have a To Do binder.) full of recipes that I want to try.

This is a
Rachael Ray recipe that I have long wanted to make. Who doesn't like a hot hams and cheese sandwich made with that sinfully rich, nutty and delicious Gruyere cheese? I had all ingredients on hand (thanks, in part to the bordering-on-maniacal bread buying binge Mr. O-P went on last week -- that man does love his carbs), and dearly love and recipe that is make ahead. 
In no time I had this dish hanging out in the fridge just waiting to be baked and served with mixed greens and a double shot of homemade tomato soup (and you thought shot glasses were just for alcohol).  This was so rich and delicious I felt as if I had been transported to France. Even Mr. O-P, who eyed it warily, and really wanted his ham cold from the fridge and nestled between a couple of slices of rye, had to admit that it was darned good.
This is the perfect dish to serve to usher in cold weather. 
Croque Monsieur Pie

3 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing
12 thin slices stale or fresh white bread, crusts trimmed (1/2- to 3/4-inch thick)
12 thin slices mild ham
2 round tablespoons flour
2 cups whole milk
Freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 large eggs
8 ounces Gruyere or Swiss cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
Finely chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Grease a casserole dish* and line with 6 slices of the bread. Top with half of the folded ham.

Melt the butter in skillet over medium heat, add the flour and whisk 1 minute. Add 1 1/2 cups of the milk and some nutmeg, and then season with salt and pepper. Cook to thicken; the sauce should coat the back of a spoon. Stir in the mustard. Spoon half of the thickened bechamel evenly over the ham, top with the remaining 6 slices bread.

Whisk up the eggs and the remaining 1/2 cup milk, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour the eggs evenly over the casserole dish and then add the remaining ham and bechamel.

Top with the gruyere, then cover and store for a make-ahead meal.

When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 375
ยบF and bake the casserole from room temperature until golden and firm, 30 to 35 minutes. Cut the casserole into squares and serve garnished with finely chopped parsley and mixed greens dressed with lemon juice and vinegar. Pass additional mustard at the table.

* I made mine in a 9” deep dish glass pie plate. I think cutting things into wedges makes them look more festive than when they are sliced into squares.

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Julie's Lifestyle said...

Hello Pattie,
Wow this looks amazing. I have pinned too!
Thanks for sharing this recipe with us at Cooking and Crafting with J & J.
We can't wait to see what you share next time.

Unknown said...

I've never heard of such a thing! It sounds great! YUMMY!

Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!