Sunday, February 24, 2013

croque monsieur Toasted Cheese like never before (unless you are French, of course)

First make the brioche! I use this recipe and it is flawless, so wont't repeat it here. Allow the brioche to stale overnight before proceeding. That assumes you don't just eat it all - it is that good! Yes it does have more flour than you might expect for a classic bechamel. And it will have a lot less milk.

Panned up and ready to go

Ready to turn into sandwiches

Ingredients - For 6 sandwiches

The Bechamel sauce

2 Oz (half a stick) of unsalted butter
6 T all purpose flour
2 cups (1 US pint, 4/5 Imperial pint) WHOLE milk
1 shallot studded with 6 cloves
1/4 t freshly grated nutmeg
white pepper to taste

The Sandwich

12 x 1/4 inch slices of brioche
dijon or tarragon mustard
12 thin slices of Gruyere cheese
6 thin slices of a high quality unsmoked ham
13 cup grated Gruyere cheese


The Bechamel sauce

Heat the milk gently with the shallot/clove for about 15 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse. Make a blond roux with the butter/flour. Make sure you cook the mixture for a couple of minutes to remove the raw flour taste. Add the infused milk gradually, whisking continually until all the milk is added. add about 1/4 t white pepper, 1/4 t salt (the cheese and ham are quite salty, so be sparing at this stage) and the nutmeg. Bring to the boil to allow it to thicken, then cool to room temp. It should be very thick and spreadable.

The Sandwiches

To assemble the sandwiches, you will be spreading the mustard and bechamel on the brioche slices, then filling with ham and cheese.
On one side of each sandwich, spread a little mustard. Then top that with a thin layer of the bechamel sauce. On the other side of the sandwich, just spread the bechamel sauce. Layer the sandwich with a slice of cheese, a slice of ham, and another slice of cheese. Close the sandwich. Spread bechamel sauce on to the top outside of the sandwich and sprinkle with grated cheese.
Bake on a lined  sheet pan (using parchment paper or a Silpat mat) in a pre-heated 425F oven for 10 minutes - or until the cheese is bubbly on top. I use a pizza stone under the pan - you may want to double up the sheet pan to ensure you don't get too much direct heat from the heating element.
Cut in half diagonally and serve piping hot with a simple salad for lunch......

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this great recipe. Is this doable in a Outdoor Smoker?