This is one of my favorite French-style street foods. It is super easy and very delicious. These few ingredients pack such a punch of flavor in a small little sandwich. The addition of bechamel sauce does not disappoint in this sandwich. I sometimes make it without the sauce and I miss it when I do. So, in my opinion, I would not skip adding the bechamel sauce. It makes all the difference.
As for the ham in this sandwich, you want a slightly sweet but mild style of ham. I prefer the farmers’ style ham cut thinly ( size 1 or 2) but you do not want it shaved thin. Since French-style water-cured ham is pretty hard to find here unless you live in a bigger city like NY, I often gravitate toward this style of ham. You can find it at any deli or just use your favorite.
Now, Let’s make some tasty sandwiches.
2 tbsp flour
400 ml whole milk
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Salt to taste
8 slices of french style sandwich bread ( or you can use a regular sandwich-style bread)
Butter – room temp
Gruyere cheese – sliced or grated
Deli style ham
- In a small saucepan, combine the milk and flour. Whisk until smooth. Turn the heat to medium and whisk until thickened. About 5 to 8 minutes. Add the nutmeg and salt and whisk to combine. adjust the seasoning and set aside to cool.
- Butter 4 slices of bread, both inside and out. Then on the inside of the bread spread. a thin layer of dijon mustard and add a bit of bechamel sauce. Reserve some sauce for the top.
- Add on a slice or two of ham and sprinkle over a bit of gruyere cheese. Save some cheese for the top as well.
- Add the second piece of bread on top and add another layer of bechamel sauce and cheese.
- Place the sandwiches on a sheet tray and either broil for 2 or 3 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden OR bake a 350* for 6 to 8 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Remove and let stand a few minutes and serve hot.
- I serve them with french fries that are topped with salt, pepper, and grated gruyere cheese on top. It is the perfect side to go with it.
- If you can not find french sandwich bread any style of bread will do. I always use what I have on hand. Today it happened to be a french baguette.
- If you do not want to add the bechamel sauce that is perfectly fine. I find it adds that extra something to the sandwich but you make it how you want.
- If you want to make it a croque madame, just simply add a fried (sunny side up or an over-easy) egg on top. That makes it even better.
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