For the béchamel sauce
- 200ml milk
- 20g plain flour
- 20g butter
- Salt and pepper, to season
- 40g butter, melted
- 4 English muffins
- 120g sliced ham
- 40g Dijon mustard
- 200g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
- 100g grated mozarella
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
For a vegetarian alternative, replace the ham with chopped sun-dried or oven-dried tomatoes and a little fresh oregano.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sandwich the muffins together using the other muffin halves to give you four sandwiches.
Spread the remaining béchamel sauce over the top of the muffins and sprinkle over the remaining cheese.
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.
Place the croque monsieurs in the centre of serving plates. Dust the tops with some smoked paprika and serve.
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