NEIL'S RECIPES: CROQUE MONSIEUR

by Cafe St Honoré in


This is a very tasty version of cheese on toast but so much better with the addition of ham. Use a melting cheese to make it even more gooey. Emmental is good but I'm going to use a good British cheddar here. Keens from Somerset is rich and smooth with a nutty finish. Use the best ham you can from the butcher’s shop or market (they usually have brilliant whole hams). Oh, and you will definitely need a napkin for the goo!

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

8 slices of good white bread, thinly sliced

4 thick slices of good, proper ham

200g Keens cheddar (or Emmental or Gouda), grated

50g plain flour

50g unsalted butter

500ml whole milk, heated

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Good salt and pepper

4 handfuls of salad leaves

METHOD 

Firstly make a white sauce by melting the butter in a pot with the flour and cooking on a low heat until it’s cooked through, just couple of minutes or so. Then gradually add the hot milk to the flour mix a little at a time. Stir continuously.

You should end up with a smooth white sauce (use a whisk if there are lumps!). Then add the Dijon mustard and half the cheese. Season to taste and set to one side.

Next make 4 cheese and ham sandwiches using the remaining cheese and the ham. Submerge the sandwiches in the white sauce for a few minutes until it is all absorbed. Grate a little extra cheese on top of the sandwich if required and bake in a moderate oven until the sandwich is golden and warm.

Serve with a simple salad tossed in a nice, sharp French dressing to cut through the richness of the sandwich.