Mini Croque Monsieur appetizers are inspired by an all time favorite French dish, a Croque Monsieur. It is basically an open faced ham and cheese sandwich topped with a cheesy béchamel sauce and then placed under the broiler. Here is a recipe for one from bon appetìt that looks fabulous. The only problem with a true croque monsieur is that there is a lot of bread and it’s smothered in a cheesy béchamel sauce, maybe not the healthiest of lunches.
If you’re in France and don’t know what to order, you can never go wrong with a croque monsieur, it’s almost always on the menu. While wonderful, it can be a little heavy and requires a knife and fork. These on the other hand, capture the essence but in miniature form.
They are one of my most requested appetizer recipes that I serve over and over again. You can make mini croque monsieurs in advance and then pop them in the oven before everyone arrives. They smell so delicious it’s hard to wait for them to cool. They are trés bon while hot, but just as good once they are at room temperature. No utensils necessary, the perfect finger food appetizer.
How do you make Mini Croque Monsieur appetizers:
Which brand of puff pastry should you use?
There are only two brands of puff pastry in my area, Pepperidge Farms and Dufour. The difference between the two is that Dufour uses butter and Pepperidge Farms uses shortening. I prefer Dufour any time I can get it, you can really tell the difference, but you will pay for that difference. I’ve used Pepperidge Farms many times and it will also give great results. If it’s available and within your budget, I would recommend using Dufour for mini croque monsieurs.
Is it hard to make a béchamel sauce:
Absolutely not, and it’s so handy to know how to make one. I use it in my Lasagna, Macaroni and Cheese , Hot Browns and many other recipes. It’s the same technique as you would use to make a roux for Crawfish Etoufee. You start by heating butter and add flour letting it cook until the flour is hot. Next you slowly add milk or if making a roux, some type of broth. It starts out very thick but as you gradually add the liquid it thins out. It needs to cook slowly until it thickens to just the right consistency.
I use a 2 inch round biscuit cutter which is a perfect two bite size. I didn’t chop the ham in the picture below but I’ve found that they are easier to eat if you chop the ham. Once they are assembled, you can refrigerate until ready to bake.
Why are Mini Croque Monsieurs the PERFECT appetizer:
- Easy to prepare
- Can be made ahead of time
- Can be eaten with your fingers, no utensils needed
- They are good warm and at room temperature
- All your guests will love them and want the recipe
Need some more easy finger food appetizer recipes?
- Pinwheels with Spinach and Prosciutto for a savory treat.
- For a quick and easy appetizer, try Mushroom Logs.
- Make some Gruyère Crackers weeks in advance.
- Try something a little sweet and savory with Spicy Stuffed Dates.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 ½ tablespoon whole grain dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
- 1 sheet puff pastry 14 oz
- ½ cup ham diced
- 1 cup gruyere shredded
- 1 egg lightly beaten with water
- Preheat oven to 425º. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, add flour and stir constantly for about three minutes, until smooth. Slowly add milk while whisking for about 5 minutes until it thickens. Remove from heat and add mustard. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Roll out pastry slightly into a 13 X 15 rectangle and cut into rounds with a 2 inch biscuit cutter. Use a smaller cutter to make a circle inside each round without cutting all the way through. Poke the center with a fork.
- Use a pastry brush to brush the edges of the rounds with an egg lightly beaten with a tablespoon of water.
- Top each round with about 1/2 teaspoon of the béchamel, some chopped ham and shredded cheese. (You will have some bechamel left over. Sprinkle pepper on top.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and puffy.
- Let c