Tom cooks CROQUE MONSIEUR

Irish Daily Mail - - Food And Wine -

This is prob­a­bly the ul­ti­mate toasted sand­wich. It may seem like a lot of mus­tard but, in fact, it all blends in. If you want to turn your croque monsieur into a croque madame you can change its sex just by putting a fried egg on top.

For the cheese sauce - enough for 4:

45G BUT­TER 35G FLOUR 300ML MILK 35G PARME­SAN OR GRANA PADANO 1 TSP SMOOTH FRENCH MUS­TARD BLACK PEP­PER

For each sand­wich:

2 SLICES OF GOOD WHITE BREAD SOFT BUT­TER 1 TSP GRAIN MUS­TARD 1 OR 2 SLICES OF COOKED HAM 50G EX­TRA MA­TURE CHED­DAR CHEESE

Pre-heat the oven to 200˚C, gas mark 6.

Melt the but­ter in a small saucepan and add the flour. Stir to­gether and let the flour cook for 1 minute. Re­move from the heat and stir in the milk, a lit­tle at a time, whisk­ing to avoid lumps. Re­turn to the heat and, still whisk­ing, let the mix­ture thicken. Sim­mer for five min­utes, then grate in the Parme­san. Stir un­til melted, then add the mus­tard. Set the sauce aside while you pre­pare the cro­ques. But­ter one slice of bread on one side and place un­der a hot grill, but­tered side up. When it has browned and started to go crisp, re­move from the grill and place it but­tered side down on a bak­ing tray. Spread the un­but­tered side with the grain mus­tard. Cover this with the cooked ham and top with the ched­dar cheese, coarsely grated. Take the other slice of bread and place it un­der the hot grill un­til it has browned on one side. Place this, browned side up­wards, on top of the layer of grated ched­dar and press down gen­tly but firmly. Now cover the sand­wich with the cheese sauce and place in the oven for 15 min­utes or un­til the sur­face of the sauce is bub­bling and start­ing to brown.

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