After 15 years of royal service to Queen Elizabeth, and Princess Di, Darren McGrady is now a private chef in Dallas, Texas. Here is a delicious recipe for Croques Monieur from his book, "Eating Royally".
* 8 oz sliced smoked ham (8 slices)
* 8 oz sliced gruyere cheese - rind removed (16 thin slices)
* 4 oz salted butter (softened, but not melted)
* 8 slices European style white bread
Preheat broiler to high if planning to serve straight away.
Butter the 8 slices of bread on one side. On four of them place two pieces of gruyere, side by side.
Next, place two slices of ham on top of the cheese, followed by two more slices of gruyere on top of the ham. Finish by laying the remaining bread on top of the cheese, butter side down.
With the remaining butter, butter the outside of the bread on both sides and then place the croques monsieur onto a baking sheet if you plan to serve them straight away and place under the broiler for about 5 minutes, until the bread turns golden brown and crispy. Remove the tray from the broiler and brown the other side of the bread in the same way.
Remove from the broiler and trim off the crusts and cut into 8 pieces. Serve immediately.
If you plan to make the croques monsieur ahead of time they can be laid between layers of parchment paper and refrigerated.