I have to say that I think a Croque Monsieur is quite possibly my abosolute favorite sandwich. I have never understood why so many restaurants in this country fail to have it at least on their lunch menus. They could make a killing on this sandwich alone. We we are in France I have this for lunch practically every day. I doubt there is a restaurant in France that doesn’t make it and no matter where you go or what time of day you have it, it is always delicious. And as Monica said, if it has Gruyere cheese in it, sign me up.
The sandwich is very easy to make. Make a simple Bechamel sauce, stir in Dijon mustard and the cheese and stir until it melts. I guess that would technically make this a mornay sauce but who really cares as long as the cheese is there. Toast some crusty bread, butter it, add some ham, the second slice of toasted bread, pile on the cheese sauce, give it a quick pass under the broiler to get it toasty and melting and you are in total heaven. I had mine with the last of the French Onion soup from last week (of course I made a double batch of that)> and a spinach salad. Life just doesn’t get much better than that.
I am also a big fan of Apple Charlottle, any Charlotte for that matter. This is rather tradional with the one except that it was made in a springform pan instead of a charlotte mold but it sure tastes great. Trim the crusts off of a nice firm white loaf of bread. Butter your mold, then brush the bread slices with melted butter and cinnamon sugar. Line the bottom and side of the mold. Toss the peeled and sliced apples with cinnamon sugar and combine with raisins and lemon juice. Pile them into the lined mold. Top with more butter bread slices and bake. Voila, a total showstopper for very little effort. Delicious.