The recipe and photography for this post was provided by Carolyn Hodges of The Dinner Shift.
Perfect for a weeknight dinner or Sunday brunch, this spin on the classic Croque Monsieur sandwich is an easy way to switch up (and stuff!) classic French toast. While totally optional, I love whisking a little grated nutmeg into the egg mixture. It really pairs well with the gruyere cheese and adds that bit of je ne sais quoi! And if you’re feeling adventurous, spread some raspberry or fig preserves on one of the bread slices.
The key to cooking these thick sandwiches is to keep the pan over low or medium-low heat. This will ensure you don’t overcook or burn the outside before completely heating through the middle. You can expect to cook each side for 5 to 8 minutes, or more if needed. An alternate cooking method is to cook the sandwiches over medium heat in an oven-safe skillet for 3 minutes, flip and transfer to a 375° oven for 15-18 minutes, or until cooked through.
This stuffed French toast speaks for itself, so keep sides simple. I love spring greens tossed in a simple vinaigrette and orange wedges for the kids.
Savory Croque Monsieur French Toast
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- Black pepper
- Sea salt
- Ground nutmeg (optional)
- 8 ¾-inch slices hearty whole grain bakery bread
- 4 tsp. whole grain mustard
- 8 oz. thinly sliced uncured black forest ham
- 6 oz. gruyere cheese, sliced
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- Whisk together the eggs and milk in a wide, shallow bowl. Season with a few grinds of freshly cracked black pepper, a large pinch of salt and a pinch of ground nutmeg (optional); whisk well to combine and set aside.
- Top 4 slices of bread with mustard, one-fourth of the ham and one-fourth of the cheese. Sandwich each with the remaining bread slices.
- Working in batches if necessary, soak each sandwich in the egg mixture for 1 minute per side.
- Heat 1 Tbsp. of the butter in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Once melted, add two of the prepared sandwiches. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes per side, pressing down occasionally with the back of a spatula. Sandwiches are done when the cheese is melted and the inside has reached an internal cooking temperature of 160 degrees. Repeat with the remaining butter and sandwiches.