Bechamel Nibble

Recipe

If you are looking for a quick nibble perfect in the new year, caterer Diane Gordon, who has catered for the Tribeca Film Festival and a number of world leaders, shared with us this recipe sure to impress guests still lingering after the holidays. The mini croque monsieur, Gordon reports, is a popular classic that fills the bill, because it’s easy on the budget, simple to assemble and will feed a small army. “I love this particular version, because we use quality ingredients that are easily accessible and it can be whipped up at a moment’s notice,” she said.

Mini Croque Monsieurs

Ingredients for Bechamel Sauce: 2 tablespoons butter; 3 tablespoons flour; 2 cups of whole milk, warmed over low heat; 1/2 cup grated Jarlsberg cheese; Pinch of nutmeg; Salt and pepper

Over low heat, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and stir for about one minute. Slowly pour in warmed milk and cook whisking constantly until the sauce thickens. Add the grated cheese off the heat and stir until it melts. Season with the nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Set the sauce aside.

Ingredients for sandwiches: 16 slices brioche or white bread, crusts trimmed; 1/4 cup Dijon mustard; 16 slices French ham (or Black Forest); 8 slices Jarlsberg cheese; 1/2 stick butter, melted; 2 cups bechamel sauce (recipe below); 1/2 cup Jarlsberg cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush one side of eight bread slices with Dijon mustard. Place ham slice on top, cover with bechamel sauce, add second ham slice and one slice of Jarlsberg cheese. Finish with slice of bread; gently press on each sandwich.

Brush both sides of the sandwiches with the melted butter. Heat a non-stick pan and saute sandwiches over medium flame until golden brown on both sides. Transfer sandwiches to a parchment lined baking sheet.  Cut each sandwich into quarters and top each quarter with bechamel sauce (save any extra for another use). Sprinkle grated cheese on top and place the baking sheet in oven. Bake 4 – 5 minutes until the cheese turns golden – be careful not to let the cheese burn.

Photo courtesy BakedBree.com

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