A classic French sandwich- Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame brings me back to Paris. Granted, I do not recall a mornay sauce topped croque but the concept is there. I have made this before and was glad to see Kathy of All Food Considered selected this dish as it makes a perfect lunch or a fabulous breakfast-topped with a poached egg. The mornay sauce really adds to the cheese flavor and provides a crunchy texture. I used white bread for the madame version- sans crust, the monsieur version with crust. In retrospect, I should have used a more dense white bread, but it still was a great dinner that came together in a snap. Madam and Monsiuer spent a little too much time in the broiler as I scrambled to find my camera. I halved the below recipe from Ina Garten's Barefoot in Paris page 48 or you may find the recipe here.
Ina Garten Barefoot In Paris
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces Gruyere, grated (5 cups)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
16 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
8 ounces baked Virginia ham, sliced but not paper thin
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat, add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere, and the Parmesan, and set aside. To toast the bread, place the slices on 2 baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes, until toasted. Lightly brush half the toasted breads with mustard, add a slice of ham to each, and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyere. Top with another piece of toasted bread. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned. Serve hot.