Mini Croque Monsieur bites - bet you can't eat just one!
Author: Mardi Michels based on an idea from the Uraidla Aristologist circa early 1990s
Recipe type: Hors d'oeuvre
Serves: 16-18 pieces
For the bread cases:
1 Ace Bakery Organic White Oval loaf, or any dense white loaf with thin crusts
125g butter, melted
For the filling:
1 egg yolk
70g Gruyère or Swiss cheese, grated
1 tablespoon butter
3 slices ham, finely diced
To make the bread cases:
Pre-heat the oven to 350˚F.
Prepare a baking tray with parchment paper.
Slice crusts and ends off the bread to make the loaf rectangular.
Cut approximately four thick slices then cut each slice into 4 even-sized cubes.
Hollow out the centre of each cube (you can cut a square out of the top of the cube with kitchen scissors then scoop out the middle) to form a space for the filling.
Brush each side of the cubes with the melted butter and bake for approximately 10 minutes until the cases are golden brown (keep an eye on them - they might be ready faster).
Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.
To make filling:
Bring the milk to a boil over high heat.
Meanwhile in a separate pan, melt the butter, then add flour and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and pour in the boiling milk, a little at a time, whisking to ensure a smooth consistency until the mixture thickens and all the milk is incorporated.
Return to medium heat and, stirring with a wooden spoon, add the egg yolk, butter and cheese. Reserve a little of the cheese to sprinkle on top.
Continue to stir vigorously until smooth and thick.
Fill and bake the bread cases:
Preheat oven to 400˚F.
Place a pinch of the finely diced ham into the bottom of each bread case. Reserve a little to sprinkle on top of the cases.
Top with the cheese sauce (you might have a little extra, don't try to use it all just for the sake of it) and a sprinkle of the reserved cheese and diced ham.
Place the filled cases on the baking tray and bake until the filling is bubbling and golden on the top, approximately 5-7 minutes. If you like the top a little more golden, you can finish them under the broiler for a couple of minutes.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Recipe by eat. live. travel. write. at http://www.eatlivetravelwrite.com/2013/09/croque-monsieur-bites/