The Croque Monsieur is is just one of the most classic sandwiches.
Though I had never had it with a glass of wine and a green leaf salad.
Turns out I’ve been doing wrong all these years.
Sitting in the sun with a wonderful Riesling, Nat and I toasted that this is what life was all about. A brilliant sandwich with the bubbling, golden gruyere, the ham, the sourdough and the bechamel.
I have a feeling we will pull this combination out many more times.
8 slices of day-old sourdough bread
3 cups loosely packed (300gm) grated gruyere
8 slices of smoked ham
For the Bechamel Sauce
3 tbsp butter
4 tbsp plain flour
3 c milk
Freshly grated nutmeg
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Serve with a simple salad of greens: cos, radicchio, watercress and rocket and just some extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar, well seasoned.
- Start with the Bechamel: melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly until it starts to boil and finally thickens. Take off the heat, season and a pinch or two of nutmeg. Cool sufficiently that it is firm enough to spread.
- Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200c. Place the 8 sourdough slices on a chopping board. Layer the Bechamel on each slice, spreading evenly edge-to-edge. Sprinkle the cheese equally over each, edge-to-edge.
- On 4 of the slices, layer 2 slices of ham and then place the remaining 4 slices on top, cheese-side up. Transfer to a baking tray and cook for 12 minutes or until golden: use the grill at the end if necessary.