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!
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.