The croque monsieur is an iconic French sandwich. What sets the croque apart from other grilled ham and cheese sandos is the inclusion of a creamy béchamel sauce that ups the melt factor by 10. It’s not terribly fussy to make, and is definitely worth the additional effort. Just watch that you keep the heat medium to low. You can also make the béchamel ahead of time and reheat it when you’re ready to use.
We swapped out the traditional gruyere for our Smokey Cheddar. Our cheddars are made with extra rich milk, so they melt like a dream. The Applewood smoke that permeates every bite of this cheese adds a great flavor note to this croque. We think our special Pepper Alpine would also be amazing in this one!
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
¼ teaspoon sea salt
2 slices of thick sourdough, white or wheat bread
2 thin slices ham
1 cup shredded Face Rock Smokey Cheddar
For Each Sandwich
Over medium heat, melt butter in a small saucepan.
Add flour and whisk together for about 1-2 minutes until the flour no longer smells raw. Keep whisking, and slowly pour in the milk.
Whisk constantly, and bring the sauce to a simmer. Don’t forget to whisk around the edges of the pot!
Reduce the heat to low and cook until sauce coats the back of a spoon when dipped into the sauce, about 3 minutes. Season sauce with salt and nutmeg.
Keep warm while preparing sandwiches. If you make the sauce ahead, reheat it in a saucepan over low heat, adding milk if needed to loosen it to a pouring consistency.
For Each Sandwich
Butter one side of each slice of bread and place buttered side down on a clean cutting board.
On both slices of bread: spread Dijon mustard, arrange 1 slice of ham, 1 tablespoon of béchamel, and a layer of grated Smokey. Close the sandwiches.
Preheat your air fryer (if needed) to 400°.
Place the sandwich in the air fryer basket and cook for 5 minutes. Remove basket, spread 2 tablespoons béchamel sauce and a sprinkle of Smokey Cheddar over the top of the sandwich, and cook for an additional 2 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.