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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Croque Monsieur - a Gutsy Cooks Recipe

The entire Gutsy Cooks menu for this week was Croques Monsieur and Apple Charlotte. I've already made my apple charlotte for the decade, thank you, and I never get around to making more than one recipe from the suggested Gutsy menu anyway. Besides, if all I have time to make is a ham sandwich with leftover ham, I'm not likely to have time for dessert. And, of course, a Croque Monsieur is just a glorified ham sandwich. Croque, as you may know, means "crunch." "Monsieur," as you certainly know, means "mister." Mister Crunch? Mister, would you like a crunchy sandwich? Who knows. There are a lot of variations, including the infamous "McDo," found at McDonald's restaurants all over France.

This is pretty easy to make, and the outcome will depend on the quality of your bread, your ham, and your cheese. I had mediocre bread which I'd used to make French toast on Christmas morning, a spiral-cut ham which Jim's sister forced us to take away after Christmas dinner, and excellent Gruyere cheese.

The bread is toasted to make it crunchy, or croque-y. But you must toast it under the broiler because you want only one side toasted.

The sandwich is filled with sliced ham and Gruyere. Some recipes add mayonnaise, and there are many different possible cheeses to use, but Gruyere is the classic.

The sandwiches are covered with Bechamel sauce to which the grated cheese has been added. If I remember my sauces, I believe the addition of cheese turns a Bechamel into a Mornay sauce. Don't quote me on that, however.

After a few minutes under the broiler, they get brown and bubbly. Or black and bubbly, if they're under the broiler a mite too long. I'm not very familiar with the broiler setting on my stove. It has convection broil and regular broil options, with high, medium, and low on both. I kept experimenting with the settings and don't remember which ones I used. My guess is that I set it on "high" at one point, which would account for the burned cheese.


Jim: "I'd give it a 6. It's fine, but kind of blah. It just doesn't have much taste. Although that could be because I still have a cold."

Marie: "I think it's considerably better than a 6, and I think the cheese gives it lots of flavor. I'm giving it a 7.5. I think you'd like it better if you didn't have a cold."

P.S. We had one sandwich left. I was going to have it for lunch the next day, figuring that since Jim was so uninterested, he'd leave it for me, but he got to it first and ate it right up.


  1. I love them... like I mentioned in Raymonds comments... we had these 4 times since last Thursday.. and I keep forgetting to take a picture of them.. since I have some left over bechamel sauce.. I will be making them again tomorrow night (just for me) and will photograph them for the post.

    I hear you on the apple charlotte.. but this version is made with bread, which according to my research, its the "original" british way. Tom is having a hissy fit, since we had not had any desserts with fruit in ages.. so this one goes on my list..:)

  2. Monica,
    We're going to France in April--I can't wait to try out the real thing.