Caravan croque monsieur

I was on a mission: to create a campsite sandwich to rival all others. It would be indulgent; it would be more-ish; and my son and husband would devour it. There was no contest. I was on a mission to create my first croque monsieur, and where better to do it than on the stove-top of my tiny 12-foot Viscount?

We were camping at Point Plomer, on the Macleay Valley Coast of New South Wales. The wind was blowing hard, the ocean was a choppy mess and darkness was descending. Still, croque monsieur for dinner it would be. So, juggling an increasingly hungry toddler and a newborn fighting witching hour, I somehow managed to whip up this French staple as the tin ‘van rattled in the wind in front of an Aussie beach. Here’s what you need to know:

CARAVAN CROQUE MONSIEUR

Serves four

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 slices of French-style sourdough
  • 1.5 cups Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 30g butter
  • 2tbsp plain flour
  • 2 cups cow’s milk
  • 8 slices of shaved ham
  • Dijon mustard to your liking

METHOD

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and then add the flour, stirring until combined. Slowly add the milk while continuing to stir until the sauce is smooth. Remove from the heat, add half the Gruyere and all of the Parmesan. Stir until the cheese is melted and set aside.
  2. Butter the bread and pan fry each side on the caravan stove top.
  3. Spread mustard on four slices of bread, and then top with ham, the Bechamel sauce, the remaining Gruyere and the other four slices of toasted bread. Voila.

(Interesting fact: The croque monsieur is believed to have made its debut in Parisian cafes in the early 1900s.)

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