Croque-Monsieur Béchamel (Croque-Monsieur with Béchamel Sauce)

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The world-famous French sandwich actually exists in two versions. This one, with béchamel, is the most popular outside France. It’s the one that is served in French bistros.

Difficulty: Easy

Hands-on: 15 minutesTotal: 25 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 8 slices bread, crusts removed
  • 4 slices jambon blanc, or thin sliced cooked ham
  • 4 oz. grated cheese (Gruyère or mozzarella)

Directions

  • In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the flour almost immediately, and combine them well. Cook them together until they create a paste. Remove from heat and pour the boiling milk in little by little, stirring firmly. Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. When the mixture is smooth enough, put back on the stove over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow sauce to cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. On a plate, lay a slice of bread, and spread béchamel on top. Add 2 tablespoons of grated cheese, then a folded slice of ham, and spread 2 tablespoons of béchamel on it. Put another slice of bread on top, then cover with 1 tablespoon of béchamel and 1 tablespoon of cheese. Proceed this way for the other three sandwiches, and put in the oven on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cook for 10 minutes.
  • Serve warm.