Makes: 4 sandwiches

Croque Monsieur is a hot ham and cheese sandwich, done the French way! Béchamel sauce, ham and Comté or Emmental cheese grilled until it’s oozing, this sandwich is the king of grilled cheeses!


Ingredients

For the béchamel

  • 2 tbsp. (30 g) butter
  • 3 tbsp (1 oz./30 g) flour
  • 1¼ cups (300 ml) whole milk
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Ground nutmeg

For assembly

  • 8 slices pain de mie (Pullman Loaf)
  • 5.25 oz. (150 g) Comté or Emmental cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 relatively thick slices ham, halved

Directions

For the béchamel

1Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.

2Add the flour and cook for a few minutes, stirring nonstop, without letting the mixture brown.

3Gradually pour in the milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Cook, stirring nonstop, until the béchamel begins to bubble and thicken.

4When it is thick and creamy, remove it from the heat and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste.

5Pour into a bowl, press plastic wrap over the surface, and let cool completely before using.

For assembly

1Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C/Gas Mark 4) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2Divide two-thirds of the béchamel between the eight slices of pain de mie and spread into an even layer.

3Sprinkle with grated cheese, saving some for the tops of the sandwiches. Place four of the slices on the prepared baking sheet, béchamel-side up.

4Cover each slice on the baking sheet with a half-slice of ham. Top with the remaining pain de mie, béchamel-side down.

5Press down firmly with the palm of your hand.

6Cover the croque monsieurs with the remaining béchamel and grated cheese. Bake for about 10 minutes, until golden.

7Serve hot or warm with green salad on the side.

Extracted from Upper Crust: Homemade Bread the French Way by Marie-Laure Fréchet(Flammarion, 2021).

Gift Guide 2021

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