Serves 4 | prep 20 mins | total time
- 25g butter
- 25g plain flour
- 200ml milk
- a generous grating of nutmeg
- 200g mature reserve Gruyère, de-rinded and finely grated
- 8 slices country-style bread
- 1 tbsp French Dijon mustard
- 4 slices honey-roast ham
Make up to a day ahead. Delicious cold, or reheat at 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6 for 7-8 minutes
- Preheat the grill to high. First make a béchamel sauce: melt the butter in a pan and add the flour; cook gently for 2-3 minutes. Gradually add the milk and simmer, whisking continuously, for 2 minutes, until thickened. Remove the pan from the heat. Season, add the nutmeg, stir in 50g of the Gruyère and set aside.
- Lay the bread on a large baking sheet and lightly toast on one side under the grill.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Spread 4 slices of toast with mustard. Add a slice of ham to each one (you will probably need to fold the slices in half), then divide about three-quarters of the remaining Gruyère among the slices. Top with the other toasted bread slices.
- Spread each sandwich with a large spoonful of béchamel sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, then turn on the grill again and grill each croque monsieur for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is golden brown.
Three easy toasties
Gruyère, the famous Alpine cheese, originated in Swıtzerland and is now also produced in France. Its nutty, sweet flavour is irresistible.