24 April 2009

BB Croque Monsieur

Croque Monsieur
April is the month of April Fool's Day and the devout celebrate Easter, but, did you know that it was also National Grilled Cheese Month? I don't know who dubbed April with this honour (even after an intensive Google search) but it is a good month to celebrate. I would suggest that the month belongs to Kraft:D

Once again it is time for the Barefoot Bloggers to join forces and make some delicious recipes from Ina Garten and her league of cookbooks. She is one of my favourites. It is always a "win win situation" because her recipes are always consistent. I haven't come across a recipe yet that hasn't turned out and been a crowd pleaser. So to celebrate National Cheese Month Kathy of All Food Considered has chosen Croque Monsieur which can be found in Barefoot in Paris on page 48 . Croque Monsieur is a glorified version of a grilled cheese sandwich...or is it a glorified version of French toast? I am late in posting with work and getting ready for a holiday...but here it is finally:D



A croque-monsieur is a hot ham and cheese sandwich that is typically made with emmental or gruyere cheeses. The Croque Monsieur, or “Crispy Mister,” appeared on Parisian café menus in 1910. The original Croque Monsieur was simply a hot ham and Gruyere cheese sandwich, fried in butter. Some believe it was accidentally created when French workers left their lunch pails by a hot radiator and came back later to discover the cheese in their sandwiches had melted. It originated in France as a fast-food snack that patrons found at cafés and bars. More elaborate versions come coated in a Mornay or Béchamel sauce for an even more glorified grilled cheese sandwich.

Found all over France today, the Croque Monsieur (casually referred to as a Croque) has as many recipes and variations as it has cooks. The crunchy sandwich is served as an appetizer, snack, or casual meal. Versions of the sandwich with substitutions or additional ingredients are given names modelled on the original croque-monsieur, for example:

Croque Madame - with a fried or poached egg on top.
Croque Provençal - with tomato, raclette cheese and herbed mayonnaise.
Croque auvergnat - with bleu d'Auvergne cheese.
Croque norvégien - with smoked salmon instead of ham.
Croque Hawaii - with a slice of pineapple.
Croque Bolognese - with Bolognese sauce.
Black croque monsieur. - toasted squid ink bread with buffalo mozzarella.
Croque Tartiflette - with Reblechon cheese, sliced potatoes and a creamy bechamel sauce.

All of these versions sound delicious to me!!

A big thank you to Kathy for reintroducing us to this French classic. This is an especially delicious version, but you can always add your own special twist. On to the recipe........

The Barefoot Bloggers have now made 91,946 Friday night dinners for Jeffrey!!!


**Croque Monsieur**

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch nutmeg
12 ounces Gruyere, grated (5 cups)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
16 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
Dijon mustard
8 ounces baked Virginia ham, sliced but not paper thin

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Melt the butter over low heat in a small 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, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere, and the Parmesan and set aside.

To toast the bread, 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 a slice of ham to each, and sprinkle with half the remaining 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. Serve hot.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
Best Blogger Tips

17 comments:

  1. I love love love this sandwich. I still have memories of this being one of the first things I ever cooked in middle school home ec class as part of our French chapter. After that I was hooked.

    I once had an awesome version at a now-defunct French restaurant in the town where I grew up. It was called Croque Italienne (lots of Italians in the neighborhood) that used proscuitto and I believe provolone cheese. It was amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. There just doesn't seem to be much better than this beautifully simple sandwich, many variations but this is just so amazingly good. We had a lovely Croque on afternoon in Normandy along the coast. Stopped in to a small bistro and the owner said the cook had gone for the day (the cook being his wife) and the only thing he could cook for us was a Croque. It was perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Such a great looking sammie, Ina does come up with wonderful recipes.
    Looks yummy!

    ReplyDelete
  4. These croque monsieur look terribly scrumptious! Congrats on the awards!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    ReplyDelete
  5. If Hallmark can create holidays than food companies should be allowed to create a month to celebrate food.

    Love the variations of the sandwich and I will have to remember this when I am staring at bread about to go stale.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Vall I really love Croque Monsieur is wonderful and your look amazing ands scrumptions, so nice

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have always love this dish, one of my all time favorites.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love Ina too, you have to love a woman that loves food s much as she does. Her recipes are wonderful !

    ReplyDelete
  9. I see all these croque monsieurs and I feel like the ones I make look so dry in comparison.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Very nice summary of this French favorite. We can buy them at any "point chaud" here but I think yours looks much tastier. I really like the cultural information you include - fun stuff! Happy blogging and eating!

    ReplyDelete
  11. nutmeg, eh? i think that's a touch i've never noticed in a croque monsieur (or any croque version). i like it--thanks for the suggestion!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Although not good for the waistline, this is a weekend institution in my family!!! Lovely!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Croque monsieurs are so good! Why stop with just having melted cheese on the inside when you can cover them in melted cheese as well!

    ReplyDelete
  14. That is one great looking sandwich, Val. Congratulations on the awards, I can't think of anyone more deserving!

    ReplyDelete
  15. thanks for the list of different "croques"! who knew there were so many variations.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This was my favorite sandwich in school in France.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have been "investigating" this sandwich for a while now... i have now all ythe info i need and a perfect photo to go by. Love gruyere.. i will use smoked.. YUM!
    I love Jeffs comment. "If Hallmark can create holidays than food companies should be allowed to create a month to celebrate food."
    HEE HEE

    ReplyDelete

Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

This blog uses comment moderation therefore SPAMMERS, SELF-PROMOTERS and ADVERTISERS will be deleted.