The 2ft Croque Monsteur

by Barry Lewis


1 large baguette, (that will fit diagonally in your oven)

2tbsp Dijon mustard (approx)

10 slices of good quality ham

300g parmesan, grated

300g cheddar cheese, grated

300g gruyere cheese, grated

For the sauce

2tbsp butter

3tbsp plain flour

300ml milk

1tbsp thyme or rosemary, chopped fine (optional)

1tbsp fresh cracked pepper

6 fried eggs to top

You’ll also need some tin foil to protect your oven

Take a croque monsieur, but make it bigger with a 2 foot long baguette and a little croque madame egg based twist on top… and yep, you’ve got yourself the croque monsteur! A 3 cheese, mustard lined, ham packed, sauce drenched baguette which was an absolute joy to make! I mean look at the facial expression in my thumbnail, outstanding lip biting ability, but at it’s true core a really delicious recipe, scale it down or make it for a crowd, good luck and enjoy!

Alright first up, get your baguette trimmed if it won’t fit in your oven. Of course you can make this with just bread slices if you prefer, much easier! Line the oven tray / rack that you are sitting the baguette on and also the base of the oven to help keep it tidy.

Slice the baguette in half and spread both open faces with Dijon mustard. In a large bowl add the 3 cheeses and mix together well to randomise, sprinkle a good amount of the mixed cheese on the bottom half of the baguette onto the Dijon mustard all the way along the baguette. Place the ham slices all along the baguette too and top the ham with another good portion of cheese all the way along it. Place the top half of the baguette carefully back on top and press lightly to hold it all together.

Transfer to the prepared oven, pre-heated to 350f/gas mark 4 / 180c and bake the baguette until warmed through and the cheese is starting to melt out the sides.

Meanwhile in a saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat, stir in the flour for a moment until the butter is absorbed, then add in the milk, pepper and herbs (if using) stirring constantly over the heat until it is smooth, lump free and thickened.

When the baguette has a gooey melted cheese sight going on, carefully remove from the oven, top with the sauce, and sprinkle more cheese on top. Place the topped baguette under a grill and cook until the cheese is golden brown on top.

Remove and leave to cool carefully as the cheese can be extremely hot! Slice and serve up with the option of covering with fried eggs if you wish for a croque madame twist. Not fully authentic, but absolutely gorgeous! Enjoy!