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Croque Monsieur Panini

Pair these rich ham and cheese sandwiches with a simple green salad tossed with a light vinaigrette.

Ingredients:

  • 5 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 6 oz. Gruyère cheese, grated
  • 8 slices sweet batard
  • 4 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 12 oz. thinly sliced ham

Directions:

Preheat an electric panini press on the panini setting according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 Tbs. of the butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring, until well combined and lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk, then add the bay leaf, thyme sprig, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Cook, whisking, until the mixture simmers and thickens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 2 oz. of the cheese and whisk until melted. Remove and discard the bay leaf and thyme sprig. Keep the Mornay sauce warm.

In another small saucepan over medium heat, melt the remaining 3 Tbs. butter. Brush one side of each bread slice with melted butter. Turn 4 of the slices over and brush each with 1 tsp. mustard. Top each with 1 oz. cheese, 3 oz. ham and about 1/4 cup Mornay sauce, spreading it evenly over the ham. Cover each with one of the remaining bread slices, buttered side up.

Place 2 sandwiches on the preheated panini press and close the lid. Cook until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat to cook the remaining sandwiches. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.