Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dirty Little Secrets...

Croque monsieur is almost too delicious to write about without having one in front of me to devour! Originally from France, we are all lucky that this classic sandwich can now be found all over the world, with new twists and variations popping up constantly. The croque monsieur, or "crispy mister," first appeared on French cafe menus in 1910, and was a simple ham and gruyere cheese sandwich that had been fried in butter, making it golden brown and crispy, and served gooey and hot. 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. I guess that sounds plausible, but regardless of how this sandwich came to be, the world is a happier place since its creation. Quite often cheese is fried on the outside of the sandwich as well, making it extra gooey and extra delicious! This rich sandwich is served almost anywhere in France, from elegant restaurants, to street vendors, to the "Croque McDo" at McDonald's. It is eaten as a meal, snack, or appetizer, which is great, since you're likely to crave it during all hours of the day! Lucky, again, for all of us, this sandwich couldn't be easier to make. Just follow the directions below. If you're feeling saucy (pun very much intended), try adding some bechamel sauce for a "croque madame." Anything with melted cheese and fried in butter can't be bad, so play around with your own ingredient combination, try melting the cheese on the outside, and have fun! Bon appetite!


2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
8 slices sandwich bread
4 ounces baked ham, thinly sliced
2 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese, divided
4 tablespoons butter, softened


Preheat the broiler to the lowest heat setting. Evenly divide and spread the mustard on 4 slices of bread. Place a few slices of ham, followed by 1/2 cup Gruyere, on the mustard-side of the bread. Cover the cheese with the remaining slices of bread and spread the butter on the outside surfaces of the sandwiches.

Place the sandwiches on an ungreased baking sheet and broil for about 5 minutes, turn them over, cover with the remaining cheese, and continue cooking until they are crispy and golden brown, about 5 additional minutes.

This recipe makes 4 sandwiches.

*Photo from

*Recipe from

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