Croque Monsieur

Croque Monsieur

I’m not gonna lie to you, this is essentially a glorified cheese and ham toastie – but man is it a good cheese and ham toastie! It’s a ‘I think I just heard the hallelujah chorus when I took a bite’ kinda good if you hear me.

Unlike most toasties this one is a) French and b) has a cool cheese sauce in it which makes it incredibly tasty. It may seem like a bit of an efffort to take out a pan and make a sauce for a sandwhich, but trust me, it’s 100% worth it. You’ll also probably have some of this sauce left over, in which case keep it – it’s great on leeks, cauliflower, or with pasta and will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days!

I should point out that it’s not strictly traditional to put tomatoes in a croque monsieur, but hey, this is a blog and I like a bit of a fruity/sharp tang in the middle of my toastie. But it’s totally optional, so if you’re not a fan of tomatoes don’t let it put you off.

 

Recipe

Serves 1

Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

For the Cheese sauce

  • 13g Unsalted butter
  • 13g Plain flour
  • 125ml Milk
  • 1/2 tsp English mustard
  • 35g Strong cheddar cheese, grated

For everything else

  • 2 Thick slices of white bread
  • 2 Slices of honey smoked ham
  • 2 Cherry tomatoes, sliced thinly
  • 100g Gruyere Cheese, grated

Method

  1. Begin by making the cheese sauce. Put the butter into a small saucepan and melt over a medium heat.
  2. Add the flour and stir to form a paste. Cook this paste in the pan for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Slowly add the milk to the paste, stirring in between each addition to make a really smooth sauce. I find using a whisk really helpful here as it helps to break up the lumps, and make sure you pour the milk in slowly as otherwise your sauce will be lumpy.
  4. When all the milk in incorporated, continue to whisk over a medium heat until the sauce thickens enough to hold its shape a little. Then add the mustard and grated cheddar cheese and whisk until the cheese is melted and all combined. Set aside for later.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Take your bread, butter it lightly and then put it, butter side up, into the oven to crisp up. Once just starting to brown take it out.
  6. Turn the bread slices over so you’re working on the non-crispy sides. Spread the slices with the cheese sauce (about 1 tsp on each). Then put a ham slice on each bit of bread. Arrange the tomato slices on one of the pieces of bread and then sprinkle half of the grated Gruyere over them.
  7. Put the bread slice without tomatoes ontop of the one with tomatoes, crisp side out, to make a sandwich. Sprinkle the rest of the gruyere over the top and then bake in the oven for 5 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and starting to brown.
  8. Take out of the oven and serve warm with a side salad!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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