8 slices firm textured sandwich bread, crusts removed
8 thin slices of good quality baked ham
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese + additional 8 oz. grated for topping
1 cup grated Emmenthaler cheese
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tsp. flour
1cup warm milk
pinch ground white pepper
pinch ground nutmeg
In a saucepan, over low-medium heat, melt the butter completely; sprinkle in flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to form a soft roux, approximately 2 minutes. Slowly add the warm milk, whisking constantly until the sauce is thickened and smooth. Remove from heat; add pinch of salt, pepper and nutmeg; set aside.
1. Preheat the broiler.
2. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium high heat. Brown only one surface of each bread slice.
3. Lower heat. Assemble sandwiches in skillet:
Top 4 slices of bread each with 1oz. Gruyere and 1oz. Emmenthaler; place 2 slices of ham on top of the cheeses; top with remaining cheeses and close sandwiches with the 4 remaining bread slices.
4. Remove "croques" from skillet and place on a baking sheet.
5. Generously coat the top of each with béchamel sauce and sprinkle with remaining Gruyere.
6. Broil 3-5 minutes, or until the tops are browned and bubbling. Serve hot.