Is this the best cheese and ham toastie in the world?
I think so. Forget about those bland, tasteless Croque monsieurs of your visit to Paris and whip up this delicious lunch.
The Croque monsieur is a baked or friend hand and cheese sandwich and you will find this all over France, but seems very popular in Paris as a tourist snack. A Croque madame is a version of the dish topped with a fried egg.
- 20g butter, at room temperature
- 4 slices of bread (I like crusty for a chew but whatever you like)
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 100ml milk
- 80g Gruyère, grated
- 1/2 tsp Nutmeg, to grate
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 slices of ham
- a shake of herbs de provence
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
- Place butter in a pan and melt.
- Stir the flour into the butter to make a paste, cook for a minute, then gradually whisk in the milk, a little at a time, until smooth.
- Simmer for a few minutes, until thickened.
- Take off the heat and stir in 30g cheese until melted.
- Grate in nutmeg, stir.
- Spread each slice of bread with mustard.
- Spread each slice of bread with cheese sauce.
- Take two of the bread slices.
- Add ham.
- Add half of remaining cheese, divide between each slice and place on top of ham.
- Top with the rest of the bread, mustard/sauce side up.
- Push down sandwich.
- Add remaining cheese to the sandwiches.
- Add herbs de provence, if required.
- Place in oven.
- Cook until golden brown.
- Serve with gherkins, capers and munch.
croque provençal (with tomato)
croque auvergnat (with bleu d’Auvergne cheese)
croque gagnet (with Gouda cheese and andouille sausage)
croque norvégien (with smoked salmon instead of ham)
croque tartiflette (with sliced potatoes and Reblochon cheese)
croque bolognese / croque Boum-Boum (with Bolognese sauce)
croque señor (with tomato salsa)
croque Hawaiian (with a slice of pineapple)