Croque Monsieur Crostini.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, the way to my heart is through a block of cheese.
It’s like, newsflash!
Oh wait, except it totally isn’t. Because cheese is ALL I TALK ABOUT.
I get it. The cheese struggle is real but it’s so dang good and I love it so much and no no no don’t make me stop.
We can eat burnt, bubbly cheesy bread together instead of fighting about it.
This may not look like much, in fact it kind of looks like a tray of blobby golden bread or something. BUT. It’s golden bread plus crispy ham and a huge smothering of gruyere cheese sauce.
Oh oh! And mustard. Oh my gosh, the mustard. The grainier the better.
I might have a mustard collection. It’s embarrassingly horrifying and quite possibly takes condiments in excess to the highest levels.
Which reminds me, have you seen the Trader Joe’s mustard gift set this year? What in the actual heck, it is delicious. Of course, I had to buy it for myself because I’m a jerk. It has truffle mustard. And beet mustard. And two more that I can’t remember at the moment but I reeeeeeally obviously need that mustard to go with my collection.
And every single day I’m moments away from eating a little bit with a spoon. Because I live for mustard.
See you on mustard Hoarders, brb.
And that’s why I fell so completely hard into this recipe years ago when I first tried it: the mustard. I mean yes, obviously: the cheese.
You know that is where our invisible internet friendship began. All the cheese. All the time.
But the cheese is pretty much a given. You can put cheese sauce on anything these days and it’s no bigs. But the mustard in the recipe is what drew the flavor monster out of me. It MAKES it.
Oh god, just ignore me. Every ingredient makes it because they are all top notch delicious and half way terrible for you.
Remember back in the day when I made a croque madame? It’s this, but with an egg.
Cue my brain explosion right now. As if I could get any more obnoxious with the things I always ramble about.
Even though we sort of discussed cheese at length on Monday (or when don’t we?), I couldn’t help but share this with you rightthisminute in case you need a fabulous holiday appetizer. Because it’s my absolute favorite sandwich/lunch/late night love and now it’s made into bite size form!
You know it…
You can eat more. Mini things = eating more of the things. We been over this quite a few times.
It also can mostly be prepped ahead of time, but I would do the cheese sauce at the last possible moment. You can always assemble an entire tray and then take it to a friends house to bake. Or you can quickly reheat your sauce on low, pile it on, and pop these in the oven.
That cheesy mess! I adore it.
Croque Monsieur Crostini
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 tablespoon flour
2/3 cup half and half
1 cup freshly grated gruyere cheese
pinch of salt, pepper + nutmeg
6 ounces deli ham
1 large baguette, sliced (you want 15 to 20 pieces)
1/2 cup grainy dijon mustard
1/2 cup freshly grated gruyere cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
fresh herbs for sprinkling (parsley, basil, sage)
Note: I love to use crispy ham in this recipe, but you don't have to.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add ham in batches, turning with kitchen tongs and cooking until crispy on all sides. Remove and place on a plate. Once cool, tear into pieces since the crostini is smaller.
Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add the butter. Once sizzling, whisk in the flour and cook until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes, to create a roux. Add milk and stir constantly until slightly thickened, then reduce heat to low and add in gruyere. Stir until melted, then season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
In a bowl, mix together the grated gruyere and parmesan.
Take each slice of baguette and spread it with the grainy mustard. Add a sprinkling of cheese, then top that with a piece of crispy ham. Cover the top with a heaping spoonful of cheese sauce. Add another sprinkling of grated cheese. Repeat with all the bread slices.
Bake the crostini for 15 minutes, until golden and bubbly on top. If desired, you can broil at the end for a moment to make the cheese even more bubbly and golden.
Guess who ate all the cheese off the baking sheet? #ihavenoidea