Extra-cheesy croque monsieur

Extra-cheesy croque monsieur

Creamy béchamel sauce tops Emmental and ham sandwiches – need we say more?

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  • Serves4
  • CourseLunch
  • Prepare20 mins
  • Cook20 mins
  • Total time40 mins

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Ingredients

  • 65g unsalted butter, softened
  • 25g plain flour
  • 275ml Essential Whole Milk
  • Nutmeg, for grating
  • 200g pack Président The Emmental Slices
  • 1 bulb fennel, trimmed, fronds reserved
  • 8 slices soft white farmhouse bread
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 180g pack Essential Finely Sliced Roast Ham
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ unwaxed lemon, zest and juice

Method

  1. Start by making a béchamel sauce. Heat 25g butter in a small saucepan over a medium-high heat. When foaming, add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the milk a little at a time, stirring constantly, until you have a smooth sauce. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg; simmer for 1 minute, then take off the heat. Finely chop 2 slices of Emmental and stir into the sauce, then set aside to cool.

  2. Meanwhile, quarter the fennel bulb; cut out and discard the hard core. Slice the quarters as finely as possible and set aside in a bowl of ice-cold water. Preheat the grill to high and set a large frying pan over a medium-high heat.

  3. Spread each slice of bread on one side with the remaining butter and place them buttered-sides down. Spread mustard on four of the other sides and arrange 2 slices of Emmental and 1⁄4 of the ham on top of each. Finish with the remaining bread slices, buttered-side up. Fry the sandwiches, in batches if needed, in the hot frying pan for 2-3 minutes on each side until toasted and golden. Transfer to a large baking tray.

  4. Spread the top of the sandwiches evenly with the cheese sauce. Grill (not too close to the element, so that they colour evenly) for 2-4 minutes until golden. Meanwhile, drain the fennel and pat dry with a clean tea towel, then toss with the oil, lemon zest and juice and reserved fennel fronds. Season and serve with the croque monsieur.

Cook’s tip

For a vegetarian version, swap the ham for griddled slices of aubergine or some Cooks' Ingredients Sundried Tomatoes.

Nutritional

Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe

Energy

2,827kJ/ 677kcals

Fat

38g

Saturated Fat

22g

Carbohydrates

47g

Sugars

6.1g

Fibre

3.2g

Protein

35g

Salt

2g

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