The croque monsieur is said to have originated in Paris in the early 1900s after a brave café proprietor replaced the customary baguette with sliced white bread for the lunch menu. It’s essentially a ham and cheese sandwich but with a very Gallic twist that involves frying the humble bread in generous quantities of butter. Here, Bentley’s has taken the snack to another dimension with oysters bathed in a mustard and Tabasco sauce.
What You’ll Need:
- 4 slices white bread
- 200 g (1¾ sticks) butter
- 8 oysters (shucked, juices reserved)
For the mustard and Tabasco sauce:
- 100 g (½ cup) butter
- 100 g (¾ cup) flour
- 500 ml (2 cups) milk
- 1 tbsp English mustard
- 12 drops green Tabasco
- salt and pepper, to season
What To Do:
Prepare the sauce:
- Melt the butter in a medium pan, add the flour and cook for about 5 minutes, whisking vigorously, until a paste forms.
- Pour in the milk and continue whisking until the sauce simmers and no taste of flour remains.
- Add the mustard, Tabasco and oyster juice. Season lightly with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
- Butter the bread with half of the butter. Spread a thin layer of cooled sauce on two slices of bread. Place 4 oysters on each of these slices, on top of the sauce, and place the other slices of bread on top (butter-side down), forming a sandwich.
- Cut into quarters and pan fry in the remaining butter until the sandwiches turn golden on both sides.
These recipes feature in London: The Cookbook by Cara Frost-Sharratt, published by Frances Lincoln, an imprint of The Quarto Group.