Lift a run of the mill ham and cheese sandwich with this easy ham cheese toastie or Croque Monsieur, combining brioche eggy bread, stringy mozzarella cheese and versatile Princes canned ham.
A toastie – toasted sandwich – might be known as the staple of students and a hangover from 60s bedsit dwellers – the sandwich toaster itself must surely be past its glory days – but that doesn’t mean it has to be, or even should be, forgotten. A few minutes can take a ham and cheese sandwich from the essence of ordinary to something much more enticing; crunchy, gooey and oozing cheese.
Here, we’ve lifted the sandwich by using a nice light brioche bread: the added butter makes for a sinfully tasty sandwich, but it does mean that it joins the list of occasional treats rather than frequent staples. Rather than go with the traditional croque monsieur recipe using a bechamel sauce, we’ve decided to go for an eggy bread/french toast influence, and soak the bread in an egg and milk mixture. This means that we can cook our sandwich in a frying pan and get that lovely brown, crunchy layer on the outside. It’s better if you don’t cook it too fast, so that the heat has time to melt the cheese properly. The other advantage of this recipe is that it’s a lot faster than having to make a bechamel sauce, and when it comes to a snack like a toastie, speed is of essence.
The only thing you have to watch out for is that the soaked bread can be a little delicate. I just soak one side, which I use as the outside of each sandwich. And don’t stand on ceremony – once served, start eating almost immediately.
Pop over to Come Home to Princes, where you find lots of other recipes, including some more from me.
- 2 slices brioche bread
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp milk
- 3 slices Princes canned ham
- 20 g mozzarella sliced
- 20 g hard cheese (e.g. cheddar) sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- butter for frying
Beat the egg and milk together in a flat bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste, and soak the brioche – one side of each slice only.
Assemble the sandwich, with the soaked sides of bread outwards; a layer of ham topped by the cheese.
Fry gently over a medium heat until golden and the cheese has started to melt. Eat immediately!
Recipe feature of ham and cheese toastie commissioned by Princes. All opinions our own.