Avocado & tomato Croque Monsieur
The Croque Monsieur or an extremely posh ham and cheese toastie is one of those quick sandwiches we all need to have from time to time. The main difference between a croque monsieur and a ham and cheese toastie is the bechamle sauce. A thick, creamy topping of bechamel turns a ham a cheese toastie into something that’s little bit posher. We use Gruyere cheese and cheddar cheese for the melt.
We’ve made the croque monsieur a few times. The first time was just two pieces of bread with ham, cheese and bechamel sauce. As the recipe developed we added an extra layer of bread and livened up the flavours a little by adding avocado and tomato. So this really is a recipe for Ham, Avocado & tomato croque monsieur.
It might sound complicated but the bechamel sauce literally takes about 5 minutes. We normally assemble the croque monsieur on a baking tray and stick it in the oven. All in all it should take no longer than 20 minutes. Perfect for a brunch (although this is a heavy meal so we usually share a sandwich between two of us).
- 50g butter
- 1 tbsp plain white flour
- Approx 1 cup milk (warmed)
- For the Croque Monsieur Sandwich
- 3 slices of white bread
- 3-4 tbsp thick bechamel sauce (above)
- 80g Gruyere cheese
- Your choice of ham and amount (try honey smoked ham)
- 4 slices of tomato
- ½ avocado (sliced)
- black pepper
- Prepare the bechamel sauce
- Melt the butter in a non stick frying pan (or saucepan).
- Meanwhile preheat the milk in the microwave
- Once the butter has melted add the flour and fry gently for 1-2 minutes until it turns a light brown colour and smells nutty
- Add a small amount of milk and stir to combine making sure there are no lumps
- Add a bit more milk at a time and stir continuously (make sure you do not add too much milk in one go as it will go lumpy and require a lot of vigorous whisking to rescue).
- Continue adding milk until you get a thick white bechamel sauce
- Season with salt and a pinch of nutmeg, taste and set aside
- First prepare all the ingredients (slice bread, chop tomatoes & avocado & grate cheese) & preheat the oven to 180 Degrees C
- Lightly toast the 3 slices of bread
- Lay out the first slice of bread on a baking tray
- Top with bechamel Sauce
- Add a layer of ham (add as much or as little as you prefer)
- Add a layer of grated gruyere cheese
- Cover with the second piece of bread
- Top second piece of bread with bechamel sauce
- Add layers of tomato and avocado
- Top with gruyere cheese
- Season with black pepper
- Cover with third piece of bread
- Add a more generous layer of bechamel sauce
- Top with an extra amount of gruyere cheese
- Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until the cheese and bechamel has all melted into the sandwich.