Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I am a firm believer that if you can make a simple white sauce, you can turn a weekday meal into a feast. A simple white sauce is the backbone of any creamy casserole and learning to make one is a skill you won't regret having. I've been emptying out my freezer this week and saving my energies for holiday cooking. With this recent cold snap, we were ready for an encore of my beef soup. Since I had a small hunk of gruyere cheese left over, I decided that some open-faced croque monsieur was just the accompaniment we needed to round out this meal.

Croque Monsieur - 6 pieces
6 slices Italian bread (slice about 1/2 inch thick, on the diagonal)
6 slices ham
3 oz shredded Gruyere
6 tbs white sauce

Toast or grill (I used my panini press) the slices of Italian bread on both sides.
Place a slice of ham on each slice of toasted bread, top with a tablespoon of white sauce, and sprinkle with the Gruyere. Broil (watching carefully) until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.
It is absolutely true that the simple things in life are often the best. With a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio, this was one of our most enjoyable dinners. We both would have happily eaten several more open-faced sandwiches each, but it's all about moderation (unfortunately!). I have refrigerated leftover white sauce and used it within a few days of making it. It reheats best on the stovetop over low heat.


  1. What a lovely simple accompaniment to a meal. My family would be all over this cheesy sandwich!

  2. I thought this was perfect. And then you added wine. I need a word to describe beyone perfect!

  3. Oh. My. Gosh! I am so coming to *your* house!!

  4. Thanks..after all the holiday cooking. I wanted to do something simple tonight. This is just perfect!

  5. Sounds perfect just like you said, I love a simple meal that steals the show.

  6. I agree, perfect! Do you buy your white sauce or make it? LOVE gruyere cheese! Thanks!

  7. This is one of my favorite meals! With a little salad and a glass of wine its perfect!

  8. Looks awesome except for omitting onions, never would survive the meal, allergic. But our Region of Italy,Rome never used onions in sauce.. Your meatballs looks fabulous!

  9. The simplest things are the best (especially if they include cheese)! Looks delicious.

  10. one more reason to get my calicium intake love the cheese this one's for me!


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