ina garten's croque monsieur

ina garten\'s croque monsieur
1 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
warmed until hot but not boiling, preferably regular milk vs. low fat
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 pinch nutmeg
1/4 cup gruyere
1/4 cup parmesan
freshly grated
8 slices sandwich bread
crusts removed
dijon mustard
4 oz ham
preferrably Virginia ham, sliced but not paper thin
1 1/4 cup gruyere
1 1/4 cup gruyere
4 whole eggs
optional to make a croque madame
We saw Ina Garten make this on TV and thought we'd give it a shot since my husband is a big fan of the croque monsieur. The preparation was somewhat involved, but the sandwich was so tasty that it was well-worth the effort... and the calories. The croque monsieur is a delicious option for brunch.

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Warm milk in a small pot until hot - small bubbles along the edges and steam rising - but not boiling.
Melt the butter over low heat in a small (separate) saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes.
Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened.
Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/4 cup grated Gruyere, and the Parmesan and reserve.
To toast the bread, use a toaster, or place the slices on 2 baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes, until toasted.
Lightly brush half the toasted breads with mustard, add 2 slices of ham to each, and sprinkle with Gruyere.
Top with another piece of toasted bread. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned. Transfer to a plate with a spatula. If desired, top with an over easy egg at this point. Serve hot.