12 oz. Columbus Applewood Smoked Ham, sliced (about 12 slices)
1 Tbsp. Columbus Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp.all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups milk
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 ½ cups (about 6 oz.) Gruyère cheese, grated
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
8 slices French or Italian loaf bread (½" thick)
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F.
For the Béchamel Sauce:
Melt butter in a small saucepan on medium/low heat until it just starts to bubble. Then add the flour and cook, stirring until smooth, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk, whisking continuously, cooking until thick. Remove from heat. Add nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the Parmesan and 1/4 cup of the grated Gruyère. Set aside.
For the Croque Monsieur:
Lay out the bread on a baking sheet and toast in the oven, a few minutes each side, until lightly toasted. For extra flavor, spread butter on the bread before toasting in the oven.
Lightly brush half of the toasted slices with mustard. Add the ham to each half and evenly distribute 1 cup of the Gruyère cheese onto the ham. Top with the other toasted bread slices.
Spoon on the béchamel sauce to the tops of the sandwiches. Sprinkle with the remaining Gruyère cheese. Place on a broiling pan.
Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, then turn on the broiler and broil for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until the cheese topping is bubbly and lightly browned. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 sandwiches
Tip: For a Croque Madame, top this sandwich with a fried egg.