Gluten-Free Tuesday: Croque Monsieur


[Photograph: Elizabeth Barbone]

Some of my favorite sandwiches are seasonal sandwiches. I eagerly await the first BLT of the summer. Come winter, I can't wait for a croque-monsieur. Of course, unlike the BLT, there's nothing really seasonal about this sandwich. Bread, ham, cheese and white sauce are available year-round.

Yet tucking into this hearty sandwich during a warm season just doesn't appeal to me. (Probably because I am too busy eating BLTs.) Come the cold nights of January? I'm ready for a dressed-up ham and cheese sandwich.

For years I avoided this French sandwich because of the béchamel sauce. Won't the bread turn unappetizingly soggy? No, I was wrong. Terribly wrong.

After one bite, you know why this sandwich is such a classic. It's a total comfort food sandwich. Warm cheese, salty ham, and tangy mustard. As for the bread, as long as it's well toasted, which is key with gluten-free bread, it doesn't get mushy under the thick sauce.

The sandwich also makes a nice dinner along with a peppery green salad and a gluten-free beer.

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