So you might see the picture here or the video below and think that ‘Croque Monsieur’ is just a fancy term for a ham and cheese toasted sandwich. Well you’re dead right though there is a little more to it. It is essentially a sandwich made with toasted crusty white bread, covered with a cheese sauce and gratinated under the grill or in an oven set to broil. You might think it’s not worth the effort for a fancy toasty but it really is. Also, it takes very little extra work to make these for a crowd so it would be great for lunch if you’re having people over.
- 4 large slices of crusty white bread
- 3 tbsp melted butter
- 75 g gruyere, finely grated
- 75 g pecorino, finely grated
- half a clove of garlic
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 300 ml milk
- a small grating of nutmeg or a small pinch of powdered nutmeg
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 4 slices of parma ham
- 1 tbsp fresh chives (to garnish)
- Brush both sides of each slice of bread with melted butter and transfer to an oven at 200 degrees celsius for 5 minutes. Take them out, turn them and return them to the oven for another 5 minutes.
- Once they have cooled enough to handle, rub the cut surface of the garlic clove on one side of two of the slices.
- Heat the remaining melted butter in a pan and whisk in the flour. Allow to cook for a few minutes to cook out the raw flour taste.
- Whisk in the milk in a few batches followed by the nutmeg and half your cheese. Whisk until melted, incorporated and thickened. Then take it off the heat to assemble the sandwiches.
- Spread the dijon on the slices of toast that weren't rubbed with garlic and sprinkle over a little of the remaining cheese.
- Add 2 slices of parma ham to each sandwich letting them fall loosely of the cheese.
- Add another layer of cheese and top with the garlic toasts and press them down to compress the sandwiches a little.
- Pour the white sauce generously over each sandwich and finish with the remaining grated cheese.
- Place them under a hot grill or in a hot oven set to broil and allow them to gratinate or turn brown and molten.
- Snip the fresh chives over to garnish and serve with a green salad.