Croque Monsieur

Preparation Time 20 minutes
Cooking Time 10-15 minutes
Standing/Marinating 0 minutes
Serves 2 portions
Croque Monsieur
Ingredients
2 Tbsp butter  1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (packed) 
2 Tbsp flour  8 slices of French or Italian loaf bread 
1 1/2 cups milk  350g ham, sliced 
A pinch each of salt, freshly ground pepper, nutmeg  1 tsp Dijon mustard 
1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. 
  2. Make the béchamel sauce: Melt butter in a small saucepan on medium/low heat until it just starts to bubble. Add the flour and cook, stirring until smooth, about 2 minutes. 
  3. Slowly add the milk, whisking continuously, cooking until thick. Remove from heat. Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. 
  4. Stir in the Parmesan and 1/4 cup of the grated Gruyere. Set aside. 
  5. Toast bread slices in oven: Lay out the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast them in the 200°C oven, a few minutes each side, until lightly toasted. For extra flavour you can spread some butter on the bread slices before you toast them if you want. 
  6. (Alternatively, you can assemble the sandwiches as follows in step four and grill them on a skillet, finishing them in the oven with the bechamel sauce.) 
  7. Build the sandwiches: Lightly brush half of the toasted slices with mustard. Add the ham slices and about 1 cup of the remaining Gruyere cheese. Top with the other toasted bread slices. 
  8. Add bechamel, more Gruyere: Spoon on the béchamel sauce to the tops of the sandwiches. Sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere cheese. 
  9. Grill till bubbly: Place on a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, then turn on the grill and toast for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until the cheese topping is bubbly and lightly browned. 
  10. If you top this sandwich with a fried egg it becomes a Croque Madame.