Croque monsieur

Croque monsieur

10 mins
Cooking time
15 mins
Jaqui Melville

The French take on a ham and cheese toastie. Croque comes from the French word croquer, meaning ‘to be crunchy’. The ever so delicious Gruyère makes this a total classic. I think there is enough room in this chapter for two ham and cheese toasties, don’t you?


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons butter
4 slices white farmhouse bread, crusts removed
1 tablespoon plain flour
100ml full-fat milk
80g grated gruyere
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 slices good-quality ham
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Set the grill to a medium-high heat and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, then turn off the heat. Brush one side of each slice of bread with about half of the butter and grill the bread butter side up until golden, then set aside.
  3. Stir the flour into the saucepan with the remaining butter to make a paste. Cook over a medium heat for 1 minute, stirring continuously. Gradually whisk in the milk and continue whisking until smooth. Reduce the heat and simmer for 4–5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. If you find it splits and the fat starts to separate, don’t worry; sprinkle in a little more flour and whisk it through.
  4. Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in 30 g of the Gruyère until it has incorporated into the sauce. Add the nutmeg and Dijon mustard, then season.
  5. Put the ham and the rest of the Gruyère on the untoasted side of one of the slices of bread and pop it under the grill for about 4–5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
  6. Top with the other slice of bread, toasted side facing out, and pour over the cheese sauce. Grill for about 5 minutes or until the sauce is golden and bubbling.

best bread:

  • white farmhouse
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