Croque Monsieur

Makes 2 crunch, cheesy, gooey satisfying sandwiches. Serve alongside a crisp white wine.


  • To make the béchamel: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat then stir in the flour. When the mixture starts to bubble, cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Whisk in a third of the milk, breaking up any lumps, then add the rest of the milk. When the milk comes to a boil, reduce the heat so it's still simmering, and cook (whisking constantly) until it the texture resembles runny mayonnaise, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, add salt and cayenne, and set aside.
  • To make the sandwiches: Lay the four slices of bread on a counter or cutting board. Spread the béchamel over all four slices of bread. Lay the ham and cheese slices on two of the slices of bread. Put the other slices of bread on top, with the béchamel facing down toward the ham and cheese, so it's inside. Brush the outsides (and both sides) of the sandwiches lavishly with the melted butter.
  • Turn on the broiler, place the oven rack in the upper third of the oven, and heat a skillet that will hold both sandwiches over medium-high heat on the stovetop. (Be sure to use a pan with a heatproof handle, since you'll be putting it under the broiler.) Place the sandwiches in the skillet and drape foil over the top. Rest a heavy object with the flat bottom of top, such as another pot or pan, and cook until the bottoms of the sandwiches are well-browned. Flip the sandwiches, and the cook them on the other side the same way, until they're also browned.
  • Remove the pot or pan and foil and sprinkle the grated cheese over the top of the sandwiches. Broil the sandwiches until the cheese melts and is browned.

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