Chef's CornerDesiree Brassert

Croque Monsieur / Croque Madame

Chef's corner headerCroque Monsieur / Croque Madame – Desiree Brassert

Leave it to the French to make a ham and cheese sandwich so sinfully rich. These bistro classics have funny names that literally mean “crunch mister” and “crunch Mrs.” Just remember that the mister has no egg and both are meant to be eaten with a knife and fork.

For the bechamel

  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • For the sandwich
  • 4 half inch slices of crusty bread*
  • 6 slices of ham
  • 2 to 4 slices of Swiss cheese like Emmental or Gruyere
  • 1 cup of the same Swiss cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Dijon mustard to taste
  • 1 fried egg for the croque madame if desired

* La Colina restaurant sells an outstanding sourdough loaf baked in their wood fired oven. Be sure to grab one on your next visit.


  1. Make a bechamel sauce by melting 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over low heat.
  2. Add the flour, whisking continuously while slowly adding the milk.
  3. Once the sauce is thick and creamy, season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  4. Lightly toast the bread and spread a little mustard on one side, and then some bechamel on top.
  5. Melt butter in a large pan, and make two grilled cheese sandwiches with the ham and the sliced cheese.
  6. Preheat your broiler.
  7. Place both sandwiches in a baking pan and top with more bechamel and shredded cheese.
  8. Broil until golden brown and bubbly.

Bon appetit!