For the past few months, Brasserie Pavil, 1818 N. Loop 1604 W. at Huebner Road, has been wowing diners with its simple yet spectacular approach to French classics. Among them is chef Scott Cohen’s version of the Croque Monsieur, a griddled ham and cheese sandwich on sour dough bread drizzled with Mornay sauce.
1 pint milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 ounce flour
Pinch ground nutmeg
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
6 ounces grated Gruyere cheese
2 slices sourdough bread, about 5-6 inches in length
2 ounces (4 slices) Gruyere cheese cut 1/8-inch thick
5 (3-ounce) slices baked ham
1 tablespoon sweet butter
French fries, ketchup, Dijon mayonnaise, 1 sprig frisee, 2 cornichons, salt and pepper.
To make the Mornay sauce: Heat the milk in a small saucepan. Set aside. In a small pot add butter and flour. Cook at medium heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the flour mixture turns a golden blond, about 4 minutes. Slowly add milk, stirring constantly and slowly. Stir in nutmeg, salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Slowly add cheese, stirring until all is melted.
To make the sandwich, butter each slice of sourdough bread and place butter-side down on griddle top. Add the ham on the top side of half and cheese to the top of the other half. Cook until lightly golden. Press sandwich halves together with the ham and cheese touching. Continue to cook each side of the sandwich until cheese is fully melted and golden brown. Remove sandwich from grill, slice in half. Place on a plate with fries. Garnish with cornichons. Serve the Mornay sauce on the side along with Dijon mayonnaise and ketchup.
From Scott Cohen / Brasserie Pavil
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