Croque-Monsieur

The perfect thing to use up leftover Easter ham.  We served this with a leek and potato soup.

Croque-Monsieur

4 slices sourdough, sliced
4 slices ham, enough to cover two slices of bread
sliced Gruyere cheese, enough to cover two slices of bread
2 T butter
2 T flour
1 cup whole milk
1 T grated onion
2 cloves
dash nutmeg
parmesan cheese
dash paprika
additional butter
spicy brown mustard

Preheat the broiler.  Line a tray with foil and set aside.

Melt the butter and saute the onion gently for a few minutes, then sprinkle in the flour, saute for 2 minutes.  Off heat, whisk in the milk until smooth, return to medium low heat.  Add nutmeg and bring to a boil, stirring.  When thick, remove from the heat.

Warm a large skillet over medium heat.  Butter bread on one side only, and spread mustard on the other side.  Place buttered bread, butter side down, in the skillet, and top the bread with ham and cheese, then place the other slices of bread, buttered side up on top of the cheese.  Toast in pan until golden brown on both sides, and cheese is melted.  Remove and place on a cutting board, cut sandwiches into half.

Place sandwiches on the prepared tray, divide the bechamel sauce over each of the sandwiches.  Dust with parmesan cheese and sprinkle lightly with paprika.

Broil, watching closely, until bechamel bubbles and turns golden brown.

Serves 4 or 2 if served alone

****

Alternatives:  Do the sandwiches open faced:  place ham and cheese on buttered bread as above, toast until bread is golden.  Place onto the baking tray and top with sliced tomatoes, then bechamel, then parmesan and paprika and broil as above.

These sandwiches are best if served with pickled carrots.

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