By most measures the NFL Divisional Playoff Weekend is the best two days of the entire football season. Half the teams survived the Wild Card, half rested with the bye week. Rust vs momentum. Dome teams vs outdoor stadiums. Three cold weather locations, four if you’re a Californian or a Cajun. The last time we have football on a Saturday until next season.

Saints-49ers

Everyone and Vegas can keep picking New Orleans for the one road upset this weekend, but San Francisco’s defense is a more cohesive unit than what the Saints saw last weekend out of the Lions, including Aldon Smith’s 14 sacks and Dashon Goldson’s six interceptions. New Orleans is 3-2 in outdoor games this season, and you have to think that 49er faithful are going to be a little more than fired up for their first playoff game in a decade.

Tebows-Patriots

I’ve never been more pro-New England in my life. I might actually even go out and buy a Brady jersey or at least a pair of UGGs. Can’t even bring myself to think about this game, much less write about it.

Texans-Ravens

It’s going to take some serious running from Arians Foster to get past Baltimore, so here’s to hoping Ray-Ray gets so distracted hamming it up for the camera, he forgets his coverage. I believe Houston finished ahead of Baltimore in fewest yards allowed on defense this season and last week’s win over Baltimore included an impressive three interceptions, so we could easily be looking at 13-10 grind of a game.

Giants-Packers

Eli Manning (aka The Blue Great Gazoo) is our great hope against the nearly unstoppable machine of the Green Bay Packers, nearly pulling off a win against the current champions in a 38-35 loss in early December. If Hakeem Nicks scores, does he do the Aaron Rodgers belt move in the end zone?

Admit it, you laughed when he did the Dirty Bird last weekend in Atlanta. Okay, maybe not you, Falcon fans. Everyone else.

Mini Croque Monsieur Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

I love croque monsieur ham and cheese sandwiches. The nuttiness of Gruyere cheese, the hint of salt from the Parmesan, creamy bechamel, tang of Dijon mustard and meaty ham make for an adult grilled cheese treat. Unfortunately, they’re a little too messy to make and serve en masse for a party. Enter these little slider-sized versions of the classic French treat which are not only easier to hold during the game, but the smaller serving size assures you’ll also have room to indulge in the rest of your game day spread.

This recipe yields a lot of cheese sauce and if you really wanted to, you could use the same amount of the sauce with double the amount of ham and rolls.

(I just happen to like my sandwiches very cheesy.)

You will need:

1 package of 12 dinner rolls or Hawaiian rolls
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6-8 ounces grated Gruyere cheese, divided
2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
2-3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 pound of sliced country ham or Black Forest ham
Salt and ground pepper (to taste)

Why there are chives in this picture, I do not know. Was I going to use them for a garnish? Maybe, but that would throw off the taste of the sandwich. Anyway, you don’t need chives.

Preheat oven to 350º.

Leaving the dinner rolls as one large piece, slice off the top and put the two halves on a lined cookie sheet. Toast in the oven until lightly browned.

In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over low heat until bubbling. Add the flour and whisk together until smooth, making the roux.

Slowly whisk in the milk in a steady stream and increase the heat to medium. Add a dash of salt, little more than a dash of ground pepper and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Cook until thickened, about 5-7 minutes.

Stir in the Parmesan cheese and most of the Gruyere, reserving about 3/4 cup for topping. Once the cheese has melted, remove from heat and set aside.


Choose the half of the dinner rolls that look larger and sturdier and brush with Dijon mustard.

Then evenly layer on the sliced ham…

Followed by the cheese sauce, and top with the remaining Gruyere.

Heat in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and then put under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to create a slightly browned crust for the cheese.

Once removed from the oven, allow the bottom half of the sandwiches-to-be half to cool slightly so the cheese can set for easier slicing. Using a large knife, cut through the cheese and ham along the cuts in the rolls to make individual mini-sandwiches.

Top with the remaining halves of the rolls and serve.

Want to save time? You can make the cheese sauce a day ahead of time and gently reheat when ready to bake.

Your 360-interactive-all-media-guide for the Football Foodie and the 28 Days of Super Bowl recipes can be found here, so you can follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and our own new glorious galleries that can be found at the top of this very post!

 

Mini Croque Monsieur Ham and Cheese Sandwiches: 28 Days of Super Bowl Recipes
Print
Recipe type: snack
Author: sarah @ sarahsprague.com
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 50 mins
Serves: 6
Small slider-sized croque monsieurs are a decadent take on ham and cheese sandwiches without going overboard.
Ingredients
  • 1 package of 12 dinner rolls or Hawaiian rolls
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6-8 ounces grated Gruyere cheese, divided
  • 2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 pound of sliced country ham or Black Forest ham
  • Salt and ground pepper (to taste)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Leaving the dinner rolls as one large piece, slice off the top and put the two halves on a lined cookie sheet. Toast in the oven until lightly browned.
  3. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over low heat until bubbling. Add the flour and whisk together until smooth, making the roux.
  4. Slowly whisk in the milk in a steady stream and increase the heat to medium. Add a dash of salt, little more than a dash of ground pepper and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Cook until thickened, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and most of the Gruyere, reserving about 3/4 cup for topping. Once the cheese has melted, remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Choose the half of the dinner rolls that look larger and sturdier and brush with Dijon mustard. Then evenly layer on the sliced ham, followed by the cheese sauce, and top with the remaining Gruyere.
  7. Heat in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and then put under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to create a slightly browned crust for the cheese.
  8. Once removed from the oven, allow the bottom half of the sandwiches-to-be half to cool slightly so the cheese can set for easier slicing.
  9. Using a large knife, cut through the cheese and ham along the cuts in the rolls to make individual mini-sandwiches.
Notes

This is a lot of cheese sauce and if you really wanted to, you could use the same amount of the sauce with double the amount of ham and rolls.

(I just happen to like my sandwiches very cheesy.)

Want to save time? You can make the cheese sauce a day ahead of time and gently reheat when ready to bake.

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3 Responses to Mini Croque Monsieur Ham and Cheese Sandwiches: 28 Days of Super Bowl Recipes

  1. jfwellspdx says:

    Made these the other night for the family. Only had about a half pound of ham, but it still turned out well. The cheese sauce cooks up in the same amount of time as it took to toast the rolls. My rolls stayed together in two slabs, so I was able to place the top slab on the completed base and then cut apart. I think it really helped to have something other than molten cheese to hold on to while slicing. The kids (2.5 & 8) were in heaven.

    • sarah sprague says:

      Nice! I’ve been thinking it would also work on a giant French loaf, like on the Habanero-Jalapeno bread. I need to try that too.

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