We started calling these classic French croque monsieur sandwiches ‘monsters’, because they were so big. And one day, our kitchen joke was misinterpreted but one of the front-of-house staff, and they actually wrote ‘croque monster’ on the cabinet! We laughed so hard, and the name has stuck.
Takes 20 minutes
8 slices sourdough bread
2 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
½ tsp nutmeg
8 slices ham
1 cup tasty cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
1 tsp smoked paprika
Salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 180°C.
To make the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the flour and stir briskly for 1 minute until a paste has formed and the flour is starting to cook off.
Add the milk, stirring thoroughly, until you have a thick sauce.Add nutmeg and season with salt & pepper. Remove from the heat.
Spread 4 slices of sourdough generously with béchamel.
Top with two slices of ham, ¼ cup of tasty cheese and ¼ cup of mozzarella.
Place the remaining slices of bread on top to form a sandwich.
On the top of each sandwich, spread a little more béchamel and sprinkle with extra mozzarella cheese. Dust with paprika.
Place monsters on an oven tray and bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden, melted and oozy.
Jess Daniell - Jess' Underground Kitchen