American Grilled Cheese Vs. French Grilled Cheese

Usually a homemade grilled cheese is going to be good, gourmet or not. Today we pit arguably the two most famous together to find an ultima

Usually a homemade grilled cheese is going to be good, gourmet or not. Today we pit arguably the two most famous together to find an ultimate grilled cheese.

INGREDIENTS:

American Ham and Cheese:

1 portion

  • 2 slices white loaf bread

  • 4-6 slices of smoked ham, thinly sliced

  • 2 slices American cheese

  • 1 slice pepper jack cheese

  • 2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter softened

French Ham and Cheese (Croque Madame)

1 portion

Mornay Topping:

  • 1 tablespoon (14g) butter

  • 1 tablespoon (12g) all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup (237ml) milk

  • 1 cup (80g) grated gruyere cheese

  • pinch of fresh nutmeg

  • Chives for garnish, thinly sliced (Optional)

  • salt and pepper to taste

Assembly:

  • 2 slices of sourdough bread, ½” thick

  • 1 1/4 cup (100g) grated gruyere cheese

  • 4-6 slices of french boiled ham

  • 2-3 tablespoons (28g-42g) unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup (40g) grated Emmental cheese

INSTRUCTIONS:

American Ham and Cheese:

  1. On one slice of bread, add pepper jack cheese, 2 slices of smoked ham on top, one slice of American cheese, another 2 slices of ham, and finally, one more slice of American cheese. Top your sandwich with the other slice of white bread.

  2. Spread softened butter on both sides of the sandwich, ensuring the entire surface is covered. Set a 12” nonstick pan over medium heat, add in your sandwich, and toast for one minute or until toasted to a golden brown; flip and toast the other side for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown, and the cheese is fully melted. Serve immediately.

French Ham and Cheese (Croque Madame)

Mornay Topping:

  1. Set a medium sauce pot over medium heat, and add butter. Once melted and bubbling, add flour, whisk together and cook for 1 minute, stirring often or until it begins to turn very light tan. Then whisk in milk, and stir constantly until it begins to thicken.

  2. Cut off the heat and stir in Gruyere cheese until melted and smooth. Season to taste with salt, and optionally add a pinch of fresh grated nutmeg.

Assembly:

  1. On a slice of bread, add enough Gruyere cheese to coat that slice, 2 slices of ham, and more cheese on top of the ham, add the other slice of bread, and spread butter on both sides of your sandwich.

  2. Set a 12” nonstick pan over medium heat and toast for 1 or 2 minutes; flip and toast the other side for another 1 - 2 minutes or until golden brown.

  3. Remove your sandwich from the pan, place onto a sheet tray. Pour your mornay sauce to coat the entire top, then add a ¼ cup-½ cup mound of Emmental cheese on top. Place under the broiler for 1 -2 minutes or until the cheese is melted, bubbling, and lightly browned.

  4. Top the hot sandwich with fresh chives, slice your sandwich in half, and serve immediately.

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