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Croque monsieur

Whether it's for brunch, lunch or dinner, this golden buttery croque monsieur recipe has all the charm of a small French bistro in every bite.

  • 5 minutes prep. time
  • 10 minutes cooking time
  • Serves 4
  • Salads & light bites, Pies & savoury treats
Enjoy this authentic croque monsieur recipe for a real taste of France
Enjoy this authentic croque monsieur recipe for a real taste of France | © National Trust/William Shaw

Ingredients

For the ​béchamel sauce

  • 200ml milk
  • 20g plain flour 
  • 20g butter 
  • Salt and pepper, to season

To build 

  • 40g butter, melted
  • 4 English muffins 
  • 120g sliced ham 
  • 40g Dijon mustard 

To finish

  • 200g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 100g grated mozarella
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika

Method

Veggie option

For a vegetarian alternative, replace the ham with chopped sun-dried or oven-dried tomatoes and a little fresh oregano.

Step 1

For the béchamel sauce

Place the butter in a pan over a medium heat; when melted add the flour. Use a spatula or something similiar to stir the butter and flour together. Cook for around 1 minute or until the mixture forms a smooth paste.

Step 2

Gradually add in the milk a little at a time, stirring between each addition to keep the sauce smooth. Once all the milk is added, simmer gently for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper, then leave to cool.

Step 3

Lay out the muffin halves and brush each with the melted butter. Put under the grill or place on a griddle or hot plate to toast one side.

Step 4

Turn the muffin halves over and spread the Dijon mustard on four of them. Spread over a little of the béchamel sauce, place the sliced ham on top of the béchamel then sprinkle over some of the cheddar and mozzarella.

Step 5

Sandwich the muffins together using the other muffin halves to give you four sandwiches.

Step 6

Spread the remaining béchamel sauce over the top of the muffins and sprinkle over the remaining cheese.

Step 7

Place in the oven at 190°C (170°C fan/gas mark 4) until the tops are golden and bubbling and the muffin is heated through. Remove from the oven.

Step 8

Place the croque monsieurs in the centre of serving plates. Dust the tops with some smoked paprika and serve.

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