If you’re tired of having the same old sandwich every day for lunch, try these savory pastry puffs! They are easy to make and look impressive. They’re basically open-faced sandwiches but they’re better because they have a buttery, flaky crust and a cheesy sauce. The flavors I chose are a play on the classic French croque monsieur, a baked ham and cheese sandwich, but you can easily customize these to fit your tastes.
I used a sharp white cheese (Kerrygold Dubliner) but gruyere or cheddar would be great. Any cheese, or combination of cheeses, that melts well will work in this. You could add some vegetables, like spinach or slices of red onion, and swap out the lunchmeat or even omit it altogether to make this vegetarian. You could even add a fried egg to the top to make it heartier, a la the classic croque madame.
- 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 8 slices of ham
- 4 oz cheese, shredded
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp AP flour
- 1 cup milk (whole or 2%, skim will not thicken properly)
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
Preheat oven to 400 F and line a sheet pan with parchment or a silicone mat.
Roll out the puff pastry to a square and divide into four quadrants.
Melt the butter and flour together in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 1-2 minutes to get rid of the flour taste. Stir in the milk while whisking and let the sauce thicken, until it coats the back of a wooden spoon. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese, the Dijon, and salt and pepper to taste.
Dollop cheese sauce into the center of each pastry square, reserving about 1/4 cup.
Top the cheese sauce with 2 slices of ham per square. Top with the remaining cheese sauce. Fold the corners of each square in towards the center. Top with the remaining shredded cheese and bake 20-25 minutes or until golden. Enjoy!