It seems that most people learn on the their first trip to Paris is that a cup of coffee and some croque monsieur in the morning will help lessen the inevitable red wine hangover. Making croque monsieur portable seemed imperative for spreading the love. Little pastry cigars filled with creamy Gruyere cheese sauce and smokey ham could cure a hangover, impress in-laws, or make you the most-sought after in a crowd. You can prep these a couple days ahead of time. I have also put the left over cheese sauce in a bowl for people to dip their cigars into. No double dipping allowed, though.
The roux is ready for the warm milk…
Continuously stir until the milk starts to thicken, then add the cheese.
After shaping your puff pastry in a rectangle spread Dijon mustard over the dough.
Assemble with ham, cheese and sauce.
Fold and seal well. Make sure not to put too much of the filling inside. It will make it much harder to seal. After this is done, I would either stick in the oven or put in fridge for baking later.
Gruyere cheese sauce:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons AP flour
- 2 cups hot milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- pinches nutmeg
- 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Croque Monsieur Cigar:
- 1 package of puff pastry, 2 sheets, thawed
- Dijon mustard
- 1/2 pound ham, shaved
- 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
- Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes.
- Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, grated Gruyère, and the Parmesan and set aside.
- Cut each sheet of puff pastry into 6 rectangle. Stretch out a little in length & width. Spread Dijon mustard on all 12 stretched out rectangles.
- Put ham on each puff pastry rectangle along the length of it. Follow with cheese and cheese sauce.
- Roll pastry up length wise and seal. Pinch ends.
- Place them on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Make sure to leave space in between each cigar so they can crisp up.
- Bake in a preheat oven of 350F for about 25 minutes.Pull the cigars off the cookie sheet by the parchment. Let cool about about 10-15 minutes. Wrap with wax paper then tie. Pack in insulated bag will keep them warm.
I haven’t been able to go to Paris since my youngest son was born. How I long for a trip…Paris is a place that feeds my soul. Being a single mother leaves me little time to sit, sipping a leisurely cup of coffee and writing in a journal. Making a little French food to take along on my busy schedule, to share with my friends will just have to do for right now.
Pull up a chair, Elizabeth