Thursday, May 13, 2010

Croque Monsieur and Madame, so not "complicated"

The other night, my teenage boys had some friends over, platonic female friends...they wanted to watch an on demand pay movie..."It's Complicated"  Sure, go ahead..wondering what that is about, sounded familiar.  10 mins later, they get a text and all leave...paid movie just going to go to waste, as usual. lol.  So I looked it up to see what it was about...and my husband and I sat eating our salmon with roasted veggies dinner in front of the tv...we laughed, what a great movie (the kids never would have liked it, but had it not been for them, I never would have watched it.)
She made a cute french meal in the movie that looks delish and she said that she made it when she was low on funds.  It was a sort of grilled ham and cheese with cheese on top too, served with a salad.  Croque Monsieur.  I had to have one..its going to be my new thing to make myself when I want a quick meal. (let me tell ya, her pronunciation and the spelling of it were hard to put together to look up lol.
For the record, a Croque Madam is with egg on it.
Recipe follows movie trailer.

Pan down for another few versions...some are more "Complicated"  than others. But all seem pretty easy and fast to make.

Croque Monsieur Sandwich Recipe

Grilled cheese sandwiches can be temperamental. Get them too hot and you can scorch the bread. Not hot enough and the cheese doesn't fully melt.

Using clarified butter helps, because you can get the pan hotter. But even heating is as important as the temperature itself. So unless you have a griddle on your rangetop, it's best to cook one sandwich at a time, in a single pan.

Therefore, this recipe makes one sandwich. If you want to double the recipe and make two sandwiches at once, use two separate pans.

For this recipe you'll also need a small amount of béchamel, a basic white sauce.

Prep Time: 4 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 9 minutes


  • 2 slices white bread
  • 1 Tbsp clarified butter (or unsalted butter), soft
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup grated Gruyère cheese (Jarlsberg or Monterey Jack may be substituted. See variations below.)
  • 2 Tbsp béchamel sauce
  • 2 oz. sliced ham (1 slice)


  1. Trim the crusts off of the bread, making the slices as square as possible.
  2. Spread both slices of bread with butter, then flip them over and spread them lightly with Dijon mustard.
  3. In a bowl, combine the cheese and béchamel sauce and mix until the cheese is fully coated.
  4. Spoon the cheese mixture onto the bread, half on each slice, and spread it evenly. Lay the sliced ham atop one of the sandwich halves, then press both halves together. You should now have a sandwich that is buttered on the outside, with a slice of ham between two layers of the cheese mixture.
  5. Spray a bit of cooking spray onto the surface of a nonstick pan. Heat the pan over a medium heat until the oil is hot and glistening but not quite smoking.
  6. Place the sandwich into the pan and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the bottom of the bread is a nice shade of golden-brown.
  7. Use a nonstick spatula to flip the sandwich over. Lower the heat a bit and cover the pan. Cook for another minute or two, or until the second slice of bread is also golden brown and the cheese inside the sandwich is fully melted.
  8. Slice diagonally and serve right away.
  • Muenster, Gouda, Fontina and Comté are good to use instead or in combination with the Gruyère.
  • Substitute sliced cooked chicken breast for ham.
  • Instead of white bread, use sourdough. Leave crusts on.
  • Top finished sandwich with a fried egg to make a Croque Madame, possibly named because the egg resembles a ladies' hat.

Here is Nigella's version of it, in a one dish meal.
Croque Monsieur Bake
  And another version I found..

Croque Monsieur
{recipe via Epicurious}

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 bay leaf
4 slices firm white sandwich bread
4 ounces thinly sliced Black Forest ham
4 ounces sliced Gruyère cheese
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese
2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Add nutmeg and bay leaf. Increase heat to medium-high and boil until sauce thickens, whisking constantly, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat broiler. Place 2 bread slices on work surface. Top each with half of ham and sliced Gruyère. Top with remaining bread. Heat heavy large skillet over low heat. Brush sandwiches with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Add to skillet and cook until deep golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to small baking sheet. Spoon sauce, then grated cheese over sandwiches. Broil until cheese begins to brown, about 2 minutes.
 Croque Madame
Okay,  this is the same, with a fried egg on top.  Serving this with baby greens is awesome, if you never had the runny egg yolk on baby greens, you must try it!!!
You can so carefully add an egg to the top of the Croque Monsieur and broil it until cooked to your liking..depending on the size of the bread, or even cut a small hole in it for putting the egg.  Serve it over the baby greens. YUM
You can also serve this at breakfast with home-fries or french fries at lunch, but with all of the cheese and egg, butter etc, the lettuce is a wiser and healthier choice. 

Now I need to get an ice cream maker and try to create that Lavender Honey Ice Cream she makes...sounds great..had lavender ice cream once with lavender chocolate cake...first bite was odd, but had to have a second and third really was good.

Some of you who have a baking stone, can make these in the oven, all at once. I like my Pampered Chef stone, avail on my website, but you can find them pretty reasonably priced on Amazon.

My need to gripe....And since Pampered Chef will not allow me to advertise the site that I pay them to have on my blog or anywhere, guess they lose out on the sales.  (as much as I love their products, I am very bitter to them)
If you wish to find my site, go to pamperedchef dot biz backslash margaritastewart  lol.  hehe. If they'd like to take my site away for putting my site on here that way, then so be it...and tootloo PC. Tying our hands on selling the products really ticks me off.

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