Lunch

Croque Monsieur

We don’t eat much white bread in this house. Don’t get me wrong, we love it, but for various reasons we don’t buy it often. We always have a loaf or two of Dunnes Low GI brown bread in the freezer, but there are times that only crusty white bread will do. One such occasion is when you’re craving a crisp sandwich (Hunky Dorys or Waffles, please), and another is when you just want a toasted sandwich. A Croque Monsieur is a toasted sandwich taken to another, infinitely better, level. Smoked ham is the perfect contrast to the sweetness of Gruyère cheese, and the creamy béchamel sauce makes for an indulgent lunch. Since the Euros are on in France at the moment (COYBIG!), we thought it would be wrong not to have a Croque Monsieur while watching the football. This recipe is quick and much easier than you’d think. The longest part of the process was the trip to Supervalu to pick up some delicious white bread!

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One of us doesn’t like much sauce. Hint: It’s not me!

Ingredients

Serves 2

4 slices of bread
2 slices of smoked ham
Gruyère cheese, grated
Butter

For the béchamel sauce

25g butter
25g flour
180ml milk approx
Gruyère cheese, grated
Salt and pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 190°c, or turn on your grill.

Butter your bread on both sides. Assemble two sandwiches with one slice of ham on each and as much Gruyère as you like. I’m not in the business of telling anyone how much cheese they should use!

To make the béchamel sauce, melt 25g of butter in a pot. Whisk in the flour and cook for about a minute. Pour in the milk a little at a time and whisk until you have a thick sauce. You may not need all the milk, but you may need more. Add Gruyère to taste and season.

Heat a griddle pan (or regular pan) that can be put in the oven or under the grill until it’s hot. Place both sandwiches on the pan. Flip them over when they’re toasted and golden underneath. Cook for another couple of minutes and then spread your sauce on top of each sandwich. Top with more Gruyère if you wish, and put the whole pan in the oven or under the grill. Cook until the sauce is bubbly and golden.

Serve with a salad and you have the perfect lunch!

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