Baked Croque Monsieur

Baked Croque Monsieur

Croque Monsieur, a Continental cross between French toast and grilled ham-and-cheese, feeds a crowd when you bake it, casserole-style, in the oven.

Ingredients

Sandwiches

  • 16 (1/2-inch) slices pain de mie or other fine-grained white bread
  • 1/4 cup Dijon-style mustard (optional)
  • 3/4 pound sliced or grated cheese (Gruyere, Swiss, or cheddar)
  • 3/4 pound sliced ham
  • 1 medium-small onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence (or the mixed dried herbs of your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Topping

  • 1 1/2 cups Panko (Japanese-style coarse breadcrumbs), or coarse homemade dried breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese: Parmesan, Gruyere or cheddar

Instructions

  1. Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
  2. Sandwiches: Remove the crust from the bread, if you wish.
  3. For firmer texture, toast the slices.
  4. Spread eight of the slices of bread with the mustard.
  5. Place them into the greased baking dish, mustard side up, cutting slices in half, as necessary, to completely cover the bottom of the pan.
  6. Top with half the cheese; the ham, sliced onion, and the remaining cheese; and the remaining bread.
  7. Press the sandwiches together.
  8. Beat the eggs, milk, and seasonings together.
  9. Pour slowly over the bread.
  10. Cover and place in the refrigerator for several hours, or overnight.
  11. About 1 hour before serving, heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  12. Topping: Mix the breadcrumbs with the melted butter and grated cheese.
  13. Sprinkle over the sandwiches.
  14. Bake for 42 to 48 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the eggs set.
  15. Remove from the oven, and allow to rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Recipe and photo used with permission from: King Arthur Flour - kingarthurflour.com

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