I have been making Croque-Monsieur French Toast for some time now as it is quick, easy and delicious, not only for breakfast or brunch, but also a light dinner when it is just the hubby and myself home.
My son also does not mind having these scrumptious French Toasts for dinner, especially when he's already had a hearty lunch at work, which happens quite often.
The other evening we had some for dinner, together with a crunchy salad, and my husband mentioned (or should I say hinted!) that these would make a delicious addition to a Valentines Day brunch ... definitely think that was more of a hint than anything else and I know he does love these Croque-Monsieurs.
Well, I won't complain, brunch for Valentines Day is halfway sorted out and I already have a delicious idea for dinner that evening. It also helps that Valentines Day falls on a Sunday this year, therefore brunch is perfect.
The recipe below is for 4 - 6 servings, which is 2 - 3 Croque-Monsieur French Toasts per person. These are already very filling and we are usually happy with 3 Toasts and a small side salad per person, as a light dinner. Served as part of brunch for only 2, I half the recipe and serve fresh fruit, yogurts and some nuts/seeds as well. Juice is a must, of course, but you might like a glass of Champagne on a special day!
**Shaved Ham is very thinly sliced (paper thin really!)
Croque-Monsieur French Toast
4 - 6 Servings
1 cup Milk
2 Bay Leaves
2 t Garlic, crushed
2 TB Butter
2 TB Flour
1/4 cup Brandy
Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
1/2 cup Milk
1/4 t Salt
Butter, for frying
12 French Loaf slices
12 Slices Gypsy Ham (or your favorite shaved** Ham)
1/2 cup Guyere Cheese, grated
Fresh Parsley, to garnish
1.) Bechamel Sauce - In a small microwavable bowl, heat the Milk, Bay Leaves and Garlic until just warm - remove from microwave oven (can use stove top too) and set aside. (Strain just before use in step 2)
2.) Meanwhile melt the Butter in a small saucepan over medium heat - stir in the Flour and cook 1 - 2 minutes, stirring continuously - remove from heat and add the strained Milk little by little, stirring well in between each addition until smooth - heat again over low heat until thickened.
3.) Pour in the Brandy, flambe, stir and season to taste with Salt and Black Pepper - cover and set aside.
4.) French Toast - Beat together the Eggs, Milk and Salt in a medium bowl.
5.) Melt a tablespoon or two of Butter in a skillet over medium heat - dip the slices of French Loaf in the Egg mixture and cook both sides until done - add more Butter as you go along until all the slices are toasted (fried)
6.) Set the oven on grill and line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.
7.) Transfer the French Toast to the two sheets leaving plenty of space between slices.
8.) Top each French Toast with a slice of Gypsy Ham - sprinkle over some Gruyere Cheese and place under the grill until the Cheese has melted - remove from the oven and pour the Bechamel Sauce over each French Toast - return to the oven for another minute or two.
Sprinkle generously with Parsley and serve immediately.