Fridge Foraging: Springtime Croque Monsieur
The choice was very apparent in today's fridge foraging - it was between cauliflower soup and a springtime croque monsieur and there was an overwhelming response for a croque monsieur. And I don't blame you! How could you not want to have toasty pieces of bread smothered in a cheesy bechamel sauce topped with turkey, asparagus, and peas? It is a total winner of a recipe and super fun to make on the latest episode of fridge foraging.
Couple notes on the recipe. Firstly the bechamel sauce can be made the day before and kept in the fridge. Warm it in the microwave before using. If the bechamel gets too thick, drizzle in a little warm milk and whisk until desired consistency.
Also feel free to use whatever cheese and meat combo you would like. I only had turkey and Muenster cheese in my fridge but ham and Gruyere would be a tasty combo too.
Springtime Croque Monsieur
- 1/2 bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed and cut into 3" spears
- 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cups warm milk
- salt and pepper
- pinch of nutmeg
- 12 slices bread
- 6 slices of turkey or ham
- 2 cups cheese, grated (I used Muenster because that is all I had but Gruyere would be great as would white cheddar)
- 1/2 cup fresh peas
- Parmesan cheese to garnish
Preheat an oven to 450°F or Broil.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and blanch the asparagus for about 3 to 4 minutes. Plunge asparagus into an ice bath to prevent further cooking. Set aside.
Make the bechamel sauce by melting the butter over medium heat in a medium saute pan. Add the flour and whisk for about 1 minute or until the mixture begins to turn golden brown and smells nutty. Slowly add the milk whisking constantly. Bring to a boil and continue to whisk until the mixture is thick. Fold in pinch of salt and pepper, nutmeg, mustard and 1/2 cup cheese and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat but keep warm.
Place bread slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread bechamel sauce over all of the slices. On 6 of the pieces of bread, add a slice of turkey and a sprinkle of the remaining cheese. Top with remaining 6 pieces of bread (bechamel side up), a sprinkle of peas, couple asparagus spears, more bechamel sauce, and parmesan cheese.
Broil the sandwiches for about 7 to 10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown.
Makes 6 servings.