I like everything in this sandwich and the fact that dinner is ready in less than 15 minutes makes it even better. From the first bite to the last the flavours compliment each other well. This will definitely become a go-to recipe this fall when we are crunched for time on busy evenings. My two sons start college and university next Tuesday and between work and school they will not have much time to eat. But I still want them to eat a meal that will give them energy for the rest of the evening. One of my sons is a hockey referee and he needs something that will keep him going for two hours on the ice.
You might be wondering why I named my recipe Croque Hélène? Well, it reminds me of a Croque Monsieur, but it's not. It's my French toast recipe with a twist. Since I was using Jarlsberg cheese in my sandwich I wanted something that reminded me of fondue. So when I prepared my French toast recipe, I substituted part of the milk with Hockley dark beer. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it does work in this recipe. And when I smelled the wonderful aroma of the Jarlsberg, I was hit by the idea to add arugula inside the sandwich. Finally a Croque Hélène needs ham. I added a slice of the ham I had in the fridge. Let me tell you that I devoured this sandwich and still have a pleasant aftertaste in my mouth.
In August I made two other meals, in less than 15 minutes, using ham. Try this Ham and Pesto Pizza or this Ham and Cheese Pie when you are in a hurry at the end of the day.
If you are making this Croque Hélène for young children you could substitute the dark beer for more milk and it will be just as good!
4 slices Smoked Ham, cooked
8 slices bread
4 slices Jarlsberg cheese
2 cups Arugula
60 ml dark beer or milk
60 ml milk
15 ml maple syrup
3 ml salt
30 ml butter
1- Preheat oven to 350F. Place a parchment paper on a baking sheet.
2- In a large bowl whisk the eggs with the beer, milk, maple syrup and salt.
3- On a work surface, divide the Arugula on 4 slices of bread, add ham and cheese. Top with the remaining slices of bread.
4- Melt butter in a large non-stick pan. Dip the sandwiches in the egg mixture until moistened. Place in the pan and brown the sandwiches one minute per side. Place on the baking sheet.
5- Cook in the oven for 8 minutes.