Sunday Brunch: Croque Monsieur

CHICAGO -- Matt Ayala is the Executive Chef of Cochon  Volant Brasserie, located in Chicago’s Loop and he stopped by WGN to prepare a brunch favorite, the Croque Monsieur.

Croque Monsieur is a baked or fried boiled ham and cheese sandwich that originated in French cafes and bars as a quick snack.

Cochon Volant Brasserie
100 W Monroe St.
cochonvolantchicago.com

CROQUE MONSIEUR

To make Mornay Sauce:
1. Melt butter in a nonstick pan
2. Add diced onion
3. Once the diced onion begins to sweet and appears translucent, add flour to thicken
4. When the flour starts to become golden brown add whole milk
5. Begin to whisk to fully incorporate
6. Add whole clove, bay leaf, grated nutmeg, white pepper and salt
7. Let cook until the milk thickens and the spices season the béchamel
8. Strain into another pot and begin to add grated gruyere cheese
9. Taste and adjust to your liking (more salt, pepper, cheese, etc.)

Country Ham
1. Go to your local deli and ask for the best country ham with the most flavor
2. Once you have found a ham to your liking ask for it to be slice thin but not too thin so when you cook it, it won’t fall apart

Salad
1. Go to your local farmers market and find a famer that provides a high-quality mix of lettuce greens
2. To make the dressing you will need a mixing bowl and a whisk. Add lemon juice, sherry vinegar, Honey, a pinch of salt and pepper
3. Slowly pour high-quality olive oil into your lemon juice mixture and whisk to combine
4. Taste and adjust to your liking

Assemble
1. Butter your thick cut toast and toast until golden brown on both sides
2. Add a generous layer of you Mornay Sauce to a side of toast.
3. Toast your ham in a non-stick pan and place on top of the layer of Mornay
4. Add another layer of Mornay on top of your ham
5. On top of the ham and Mornay add a couple pieces of gruyere cheese and place in the oven until the cheese becomes golden brown.
6. Top with your fresh green salad