A few years back, while in Paris, we had a real crowd pleaser called croque monsieur. This is another palate pleaser, although a little richer version, and a perfectly wonderful luncheon fare.
- 12 small fingerling potatoes, cooked until tender and smashed
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 4 slices day old country bread
- 4 thick slices of ham
- 8 slices Gruyere cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss the potatoes with oil. Spread 1/4 cup of the Bechamel sauce (recipe follows)on to each slice of bread, and top with a slice of ham, some of the potatoes and 2 slices of cheese. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake until golden and bubbly (10-12 minutes). Check after 8 minutes and rotate the baking sheet, if necessary.
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 1 3/4 cups whole milk, warmed
Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until the mixture bubbles just a little, but not starting to turn brown (about 2 minutes). Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil to thicken the sauce. Season carefully with a little salt and pepper and remove from heat.
This make a super great luncheon treat. Add a crisp green salad and you are off to the races. Enjoy!