The Irresistible Croque Monsieur comme à Paris, and …

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Croque Madame and Croque Proveçale too!

Le Croque Monsieur is a classic of French Brasseries, a preferred short delicious break, for lunch in France, has so many wonderful versions, you will find 3 of them here.
The recipe here is from La Brasserie La Marquise a Montparnasse, in the classic original way, and for the English version from Ina Garten.

Ingredients: yield 4 servings

  • 2 -3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups hot milk
  • 12 ounces Gruyere, grated (5 cups)
  • 8 slices of white or whole grain bread (optional without the crust)
  • 5 cups of grated gruyere
  • 4 slices of good ham not thin not too thick
  • 1 teaspoon of grround pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • 4 thin slices of gruyere cheese
  • Dijon mustard

How you make it:

Preheat the oven to 432 degrees (200°C), place the rack in the center.

  • Prepare a quick bechamel, melting the butter on a small thick saucepan, add the flour, whisk firmlye and quickly, pouring the milk constantly, continue stirring till the sauce has thickened. Add salt and pepper, nutmeg, gruyere. Set aside.
  • On a cutting board lay the bread slices, (here you can also toast the slices 2 minutes in the oven). I prefer to leave the bread as it is. – Now coat lightly 4 slices with mustard.
  • Add 1 ham slice on mustard side, a pinch of pepper, add gruyere slice, top the sandwich with the second bread slice.
  • Cover it well with the bechamel sauce, sprinlkle with pepper some gruyere again and spread 2 or 3 very thin slices of butter.
  • When all sandwiches are ready, (If you have not pre-toasted the bread), bake about 10 minutes till the tops are golden brown, creamy bubbling, checking it often. You could also turn on the broil for few minutes.

For the Croque Madame, while Croque Monsieur is in the oven, fry an egg and top your sandwhich, with it. Sprinkle with pepper, gruyer, salt. –

For the Croque Provençale, slice some thin slices of tomatoes, sprinkle over some Herbes de Provences, a pinch of salt, and insert after the gruyere slice, or bake in a small separate plate with the Croque Monsieur and top it with it. When serving, it ‘has’ to be married with a fresh escarole salad, topped with a good tablesoon of a tangy mustard vinagraitte with scallions! The contrast is so wonderful, it will enhance all flavors in your mouth!
Absolument Delicieux..!…

P.S. A quick version: Instead of bechamel use 1and ½ cups of Half and Half cream. Add grated gruyere, salt, pepper, nutmeg. Let it rest for few minutes.

All the other VERY FRENCH RECIPES >

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