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A croque monsieur is the sandwich of the masses in France. You'll get them in every deli, street fair and local restaurant. This recipe shows you how to enjoy this treat without a sandwich maker, but if you are lucky enough to own a sandwich maker then you can skip the frying part, cutting down on the fat and calories.
- Grate the cheese on the small hole of the cheese grater.
- Put two tablespoons of it aside and mix the rest with enough cream or yogurt to make a thick paste (the leftover cream or yogurt will go in the sauce).
- Add some salt and pepper as well.
- Cut the crusts off the bread and spread each slice generously with the paste.
- Put a slice of ham, trimmed to fit, on half the sandwiches.
- Press together, particularly the edges, and cut each one in half diagonally.
- Now make the sauce by melting one tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan.
- Stir in the flour and gradually add the milk, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.
- Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and cook at a gentle simmer for several minutes.
- Stir in the reserved cream or yogurt, the mustard and the cheese.
- Cook until melted and smooth.
- To cook the sandwiches, heat half the butter and oil until it is very hot.
- Fry half the sandwiches for a couple minutes on each side until golden and crisp.
- Drain on absorbent paper, while frying the rest of the batch.
- Serve with a knife and fork and a bit of sauce on the side, to drizzle over individually.