Croque Monsieur/Lee Schrager

WSVN — Everyone loves a good, hearty breakfast, and that’s just what we’re cooking up today with one of South Florida’s most famous foodies. A French classic is on the menu as we grab a Bite with Belkys.

The Chef: Lee Schrager
The Dish: Croque Monsieur
From: America’s Best Breakfasts cookbook
by Lee Brian Schrager and Adeena Sussman

2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1/8 Tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 1/4 cups whole milk, warmed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
16 asparagus spears, cleaned and trimmed
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
4 3/4 inch slices of day old country bread
4 1/8-inch slices smoked ham
8 slices Gruyère cheese

Method of Preparation:
– Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk until the mixture bubbles slightly but has not yet begun to brown, about 1 minute. Whisk in the nutmeg, bay leaf and onion and continue cooking until the onion softens, 2-3 minutes. Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. The mixture should thicken immediately. If not, whisk for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.

– In a large bowl, toss the asparagus with olive oil. Arrange the bread on a baking sheet and spread each slice with 1/4 cup of the Béchamel. Top with 1 slice of ham, 4 spears of asparagus and 2 slices of cheese.

– Bake, checking after 9 minutes and rotating as needed, until the cheese is golden brown and bubbling, 12-13 minutes.
To Plate:
Serve Croque Monsieur sandwiches with fresh fruit or your favorite side dish.
Serving Suggestion: Wine or Mimosas

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