an used to work at a local cocktail bar that served small plates and a few gourmet sandwiches. One of the best sandwiches they had was a Croque Monsieur, which I'd never had before I had it there (and it was amazing), and I hadn't had one since, until we made this bad boy! The Croque is typically made with Gruyere cheese, but Kerrygold challenged me to make a grilled cheese this month and I figured their cheese would make a damn fine Croque Monsieur, so I broke all the rules and did just that. Spoiler alert: Kerrygold cheese does indeed make a damn fine Croque. And technically this isn't a grilled cheese, per se, it's a baked cheese...with ham. But I'm going to call it a mulligan. It's a sandwich and bubbling hot cheese is heavily involved. Grilled cheese it is. And a fancy-ass grilled cheese at that.
Dan really wanted to make a Croque Madame, which is the same sandwich, but topped with a fried egg, but I was all, "Slow down, cowboy, let's not get too crazy." But, hey, if you're into that, by all means, go for it.
Kerrygold Croque Monsieur
(recipe adapted from Bon Appetit)
¼ cup Kerrygold unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1½ cups whole milk
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or ¼ ground nutmeg
4 slices ½”-thick rosemary bread
4-6 slices black forest ham (2-3 slices per sandwich)
~4 slices Kerrygold Blarney Castle cheese (enough for a layer in each sandwich)
1 cup Kerrygold Dubliner and/or Skellig Sweet Cheddar grated
To make Béchamel
1/ Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until foamy. Add flour and cook, stirring, until mixture is pale and foamy, about 3 minutes.
2/ Add the milk in slowly, stirring until mixture is smooth. Still stirring, cook until sauce is thick and somewhat elastic (with a sort of rubbery texture), about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in mustard and nutmeg; season with salt.
To construct Sandwich
1/ Preheat your oven to 425° F. Spread all of the rosemary bread slices with béchamel, evenly and spread to the edges.
2/ Place 2 slices of bread, béchamel side up, on a parchment (or foil) lined baking sheet. Layer with ham and Blarney Castle cheese slices.
3/ Place the remaining slices of bread, béchamel side up, on top and then sprinkle grated Dubliner and/or Skellig cheese on top. Bake until cheese is brown and bubbling, about 10–15 minutes. Enjoy!