Delicious crispy bread loaf, ham, melted cheese, and béchamel (Mornay) sauce oozing out all over the place… Is your mouth watering already? Then let me introduce you to the most emblematic sandwich in French cuisine, a classic Croque-Monsieur (“Mister Crunchy Bite” in French).
This is more than an ordinary quick snack to satiate one’s hunger when learning how to play teen patti online or doing other things, but is a culinary icon. Here’s what you need to know about this crispy delight of French cuisine.
History Of Croque-Monsieur
There are two theories about the origin of Croque-Monsieur. According to the first theory, English popularized sandwiches in France in the 18th century, and Croque-Monsieur originated in the 19th century. The second theory says that the history of this sandwich goes back to the early 1900s. In 1910 the employee of the Parisian café came up with the idea of preparing a sandwich with ham and cheese and added it to the café menu.
Nine years later famous French writer Marcel Proust even mentioned Croque-Monsieur in his book “Under the Shadow of Girls in Bloom”. The sandwich was so easy to make that it quickly became the staple of bistros and brasseries. Moreover, the sandwich has spawned many delicious variations. The most popular of them is Croque-Madame with a fried or poached egg on top of the sandwich.
Also Read: A Beginner’s Guide To Brunch
How To Prepare Classic Croque-Monsieur?
2 slices of brioche, preferably each about 0.5 inch thick
¾ cup of shredded Gruyere cheese
2-3 thick slices of ham, preferably Fabrique Délices Jambon de Paris
1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 tbsp butter unsalted
1 tbsp flour all-purpose
1 cup of milk
Pinch of fresh nutmeg
- Take the butter and melt it in a medium saucepan. Heat the milk in a saucepan but make sure it isn’t boiling. Add flour to the melted butter and stir them together. Then add the milk to flour and butter, but do it gradually, sitting. Keep the mixture on the fire and cook it, stirring, to make the sauce thick and smooth for about 4 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat. Season the Béchamel sauce with pepper, salt, and a pinch of fresh nutmeg, grate half of the cheese on it, and set the sauce aside.
- Take the bread and toast them for a few minutes in a toaster oven. Then take the first slice of bread, spread mustard on one side (the inside), and add cheese and ham on the other side. Put both slices together and close the sandwich.
- Now take the béchamel sauce and spread it on top of the sandwich. Sprinkle the sandwich with grated cheese, and season it with salt and pepper. Place it in the toaster oven for about 30 seconds until the cheese starts to melt and becomes bubbly.
- Remove the sandwich from the toaster oven and cut in half.
- Serve Croque-Monsieur with fresh salad.
Tips For A Perfect Croque-Monsieur
Here are a few recommendations that will help you make the already delicious croque monsieur even more appetizing and exquisite.
- To make the bread more tender and soft, you can cut off the crusts because they quickly brown and become stiff. But you don’t have to do this.
- The best types of bread for this sandwich are brioche, pain au lait, or challah. Bread has to be tender and soft.
- Grate the Gruyère cheese yourself and don’t buy the pre-grated cheese.
- Serve Croque-Monsieur sandwiches only hot.
- Garnish the finished croque-monsieur with lettuce leaves or greens.
- If you don’t have a toaster oven, you can toast bread in an oven or frying pan.
- Traditional Croque-Monsieur is made with Gruyere cheese, but it is also possible to prepare it with Comte, Emmental, or Beaufort cheese.
How To Serve Croque-Monsieur?
Traditionally the French people serve this sandwich with a side dish of French fries or salad for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Other popular side dishes for Croque-Monsieur are mesclun green salad, tomato salad, coleslaw, green beans, and roasted vegetables. As for drinks, the French people traditionally pair it with a glass of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, or Chablis. However, a glass of cider or beer will also be fine.
Prepare the Croque-Monsieur and feel like you are in a French brasserie!