This is the one recipe that’s a must to include in your French cooking arsenal and it’s the perfect use for those baby Aldi supermarket truffles.

Makes 4 individual serves

8 slices of freshly brioche bread
4 tbsp unsalted butter
500ml truffled béchamel sauce (see recipe below)
8 slices of smoked leg ham
4 cups grated mix of emmental and gruyere cheese
4 tbsp Dijon mustard
freshly sliced black truffle
pickled cornichons

Pre-heat oven to 200C

Truffled Béchamel Sauce

Makes approximately 500ml

425ml milk
a few parsley stalks
1 bay leaf
½ tsp ground nutmeg
10 whole black peppercorns
1 slice onion, a quarter of an inch (5 mm) thick
40g unsalted butter
20g plain flour
salt and pepper to season
20g truffle brie cheese

Method

1. First place the milk in a small saucepan and add the parsley stalks, bay leaf, nutmeg, peppercorns and onion. Then place it over a low heat and let it come very slowly up to simmering point, which will take approximately 5 minutes. Then remove the saucepan from the heat and strain the milk into a jug, discarding the flavourings.

2. In a medium size saucepan, over a low heat, add the butter and slowly melt.

3. Add the flour and stir well with a wooden spoon to make a smooth glossy paste.

4. Slowly begin adding the infused milk a little at a time stirring vigorously. Continue to add until about half of the milk has been incorporated, then using a balloon whisky, continuing adding the remaining milk and whisk well.
5. Turn the heat to low and continue to cook the sauce cook for approximately 5 minutes, then whisk in the truffle brie, and continue to whisk until melted through the sauce.

6. Remove from heat and season to taste. Set aside ready for serving.

To Prepare the Croque Monsieur

1. Lay four slices of brioche bread on a lined baking tray and spread each slice evenly with Dijon mustard.

2. Add a table spoon of the truffled béchamel sauce on top of each brioche slice and spread evenly.

3. Add a generous amount of grated cheese on top of each truffled béchamel sauce layer.
4. Add 2 slices of quality leg ham, then more cheese and fresh truffle slices to complete the base layers of each croque monsieur.

5. Top each croque monsieur with remaining brioche slices, covered in a final additional layer of truffled béchamel sauce.

6. In a large heavy base frying pan, over a medium heat, melt 1 tbsp of butter and add 1 prepared
croque monsieur to the hot pan. Cook until golden in colour, then turn over to cook the other side.

7. Set aside the first cooked croque monsieur on the lined baking tray and continue to the remains three.

8. Place all pan-cooked croque monsieur in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until the brioche is golden and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

To Serve

Remove from the oven and slice, then top with an arrangement of fresh black ruffle slices and pickled cornichons.

Black Truffle Croque Monsieur

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