In France, the croque-monsieur sandwich is as much a staple of school children's lunches as the PB&J is in America. I grew up with them, and they are still the ultimate comfort food for me.
The girls are going back to school today and I wanted to share with them one of the fondest culinary memories of my childhood. When I was in middle school, I would come home early on Wednesdays. Since I didn't eat lunch at school, I would always make myself a croque-monsieur.
Croque-monsieur is super easy to make. All you need is a few ingredients such as sliced white bread, emmental cheese and ham (I used smoked turkey). To make it fancier, I bind all the ingredients together with a Mornay sauce, which is basically a béchamel with cheese. I use béchamel a lot; it's really just a white sauce made of flour, butter and milk.