Bentley’s Oyster croque monsieur

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.

Serves: 2

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.

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