It's no secret that I'm a lover of Croque Monsieur, however it took me years to actually make the sandwich myself at home. Many is the time I would buy all the ingredients to whip it up, only to think way too much about the making of the bechamel sauce, and so end up eating just a simple toasted ham and cheese sandwich instead. Do you get the picture? Do you do the same?
If this sounds a little like you, then I promise, you will no longer eat a simple toasted ham and cheese sandwich again! This bechamel sauce is a cinch to whip up and in fact, should be ready to go once you pull the bacon and toast out of the oven.
Also, to make things even easier for you, I often make double the amount of bechamel sauce and pop the extra into the freezer for next time. Smart huh!
Croque Monsieur - My Version
4 slices of your favourite bread
4 slices of organic bacon
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
4 thin slices Gruyere cheese
1 quantity bechamel sauce (see below)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. On a oven tray, place the bread and bacon and cook in oven for approximately 7 minutes (until bacon starts to crisp up).
Meanwhile, make the bechamel sauce.
When bacon is cooked to your liking, remove from oven and spread each slice of the toast with Dijon mustard, top with a slice of cheese, a slice of the bacon and top with a spoonful of the thickened sauce. Place back in the oven for a few more minutes until cheese has melted and the bechamel sauce begins to bubble and brown.
1 tbs unsalted butter
1 tbsp plain flour
3/4 cup milk
pinch of sea salt
For the sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When melted, remove it from the heat and stir in the flour to make a roux, or paste. Return to the heat and slowly whisk in the milk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the salt and nutmeg to taste and continue to cook until it has thickened and the taste of flour is gone.
I love serving my version of this sandwich with a green salad so I can drizzle some of the dressing over the top ......hmmm....maybe I should have kept that little secret to myself.......