A Croque Monsieur-Inspired Baked Potato
Chef Frank roasts his potatoes in a salt crust and shares the recipe.
ICE Chef Frank Proto prepares a professional-level potato on Epicurious' 4 Levels series using all of the toppings that are usually on a traditional Croque Monsieur sandwich.
Chef Frank demonstrates how to prepare a flavorful baked potato with crispy skin (and a bed of cheese). He uses a German butterball potato for dryness, fluffiness and a little bit of waxiness; flavored salt for a slight thyme flavor; and meat to add flavor. The base of his filling is Italian speck, a slightly smoky ham, and he tops the stuffed potato with French bechamel sauce and rich, grated Gruyere.
Watch the demo in the video and get the complete recipe below.
Study with Chef Frank in Culinary Arts at ICE.
Croque Monsieur-Inspired Baked Potato
Yields 4 servings
- 4 large German butterball potatoes
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 8 sprigs thyme leaves, picked
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Place picked thyme and salt in a food processor and pulse.
- Coat potatoes lightly with oil and roll in the herb salt.
- Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes, then lower the oven to 350 F and cook until the potatoes are soft in the middle.
- When done, cut down the middle, scoop half of the insides out and place in a large bowl, set aside.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large shallot, sliced
- 4 ounces speck, julienned
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1/2-3/4 cup creme fraiche
- Potato insides (see above)
- Heat the butter in a saute pan.
- Add the shallot and thyme, sweat.
- Add the speck and cook until lightly brown.
- Remove thyme and discard.
- Add mixture to the bowl of scooped out potato insides, then add the creme fraiche and mix well.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- 2.5 cups milk
- 1.5 ounces butter
- 1.5 ounces flour
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 small bay leaf, dried
- Heat butter in a saucepot.
- Add the flour and cook for 3-5 minutes without any color. It should smell like baking bread.
- Add the garlic, bay leaf and milk and bring to a simmer.
- Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Remove from the heat, season and strain.
- 1 cup Gruyere, grated
- Potato filling
- Potato bases
- Stuff the potato bases with the ham-potato filling.
- Top with a thick layer of béchamel.
- Top with grated gruyere and place under the broiler until golden brown.