Sometimes it’s the undemandingly easy, everyday recipes that deliver the most joy. For ‘Iain’ and his dad, from our Food Love Story, it’s croque monsieur. They first had it on a joint trip to France and, since then, it’s become their favourite weekend lunch. 'Iain’s' made a few changes to it along the way (bonjour, wafer-thin roast turkey) – but for him and his dad, it's most definitely 'proper'.
- Brush one side of each slice of bread with the melted butter using a pastry brush. Set a frying pan over a medium heat and toast the bread on the buttered side, in batches, until golden.
- For the sauce, whisk a little of the milk with the cornflour and mustard. Once the mixture is smooth, put it in a saucepan over a medium heat with the remaining milk.
- Stirring continuously, bring the sauce to a simmer until thickened. Allow to bubble for 1 minute before lowering the temperature and adding the cheese. Stir until you have a smooth sauce. Remove from the heat and stir occasionally to prevent a skin from forming while you're making the sandwiches.
- Build the sandwiches by layering the turkey, followed by the ham, on the untoasted sides of 2 slices of the bread. Spoon on the cheese sauce and top with the remaining slices of bread, untoasted side down. Slice in half and serve with a rocket and tomato salad.
For an even more substantial croque, top with a fried egg.
Leftover Gruyère is great stuffed into meatballs, grated over veg soups or halved baked potatoes, or used for macaroni cheese.