Almond-Crusted Croque Monsieur with English Tea Bechamel Sauce

Croque Monsieur is a fancy way to say grilled cheese on French toast. It's absolutely delicious and so simple to make. This version is a little off the wall, but let's get bold.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 25 min
  • Yield: 12 sandwiches
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1 quart (32-ounces) whole milk, 1/4 cup reserved

1 English breakfast tea bag

2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon

2 tablespoons oil

2 tablespoons butter, plus 3 tablespoons for sauce

3 eggs

3 tablespoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup blanched, sliced almonds

1 baguette, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces

1 baked ham, sliced really thin

2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar or Swiss cheese

1/2 cup chopped yellow onion

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. To a sauce pot add 30-ounces milk, English tea bag, and tarragon. Place on low heat and bring to a simmer, cook for 10 minutes. 
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add oil and 2 tablespoons butter. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and 1/4 cup milk. Add 3 tablespoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Place the sliced almonds in a bowl. Dip the bread slices into the egg batter, and then into the almonds and place in a hot pan. Cook about 2 minutes per side, or until nice deep brown. Drain on paper towel and transfer to a sheet pan. Add 1 slice ham and a generous helping of cheese to the bread. Place the sheet pan in the oven and cook until the cheese melts and starts to brown. 
  4. While the monsieurs are baking, place a saucepot onto the stove and turn to medium-high heat. Melt 3 tablespoons butter and saute the onions until light brown. Add the flour and mix until blended. Strain the tea milk into the pot and whisk vigorously. When the sauce is thick add the Parmesan cheese and parsley. Turn off the heat. Remove the monsieurs from the oven and slather with the bechamel sauce. Plate and serve.
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