Monday, July 14, 2014

Just Life | Panteha Makes Croque Monsieur

Three years ago, my daughter and I ventured to Paris for a week. On one cold November morning, we walked for more than an hour from our hotel to Notre Dame.

By the time we walked around that old church and climbed numerous spiral stairs to meet the gargoyles, we were famished.

So, we bought two Croque Monsieur from a nearby coffee shop.

That sandwich was really delicious. I wanted to replicate that sandwich ever since.

 But somehow, I never found the time to make a legitimate Croque Monsieur.

The other day, I was leafing through this new book by David Lebovitz called: "My Paris kitchen: recipes and stories " and all of a sudden, I came across the Croque Monsieur recipe.  My friends, the time to make this French Yumminess had arrived.
To be honest, Croque Monsieur is just a fancy Grilled Ham and Cheese for the lack of better word. However, it is a very delicious Grilled ham and cheese and it has a Bechamel sauce on it as well.

The recipe from the book sounds pretty easy and it doesn't require that many ingredients. Just Dry-cured ham, Gruyere cheese, butter, flour, sliced bread and milk. 

The first step is to make a Bechamel sauce to brush on the sliced breads before assembling the sandwich and broiling it.

Yesterday morning, I went to buy the three main ingredients. I went to Panera to pick up a fresh French loaf for $8. Then, I went to Safeway to buy the Gruyere cheese and the cured ham. I was shocked by the price of the Gruyere cheese. Two small pieces of Gruyere cheese was $18. The Cured ham was almost $9. 

Heaven, this is going to be a pricey dinner.  

It took me 5 minutes to make the Bechamel sauce. The remaining ingredients were easy to assemble.

I was a bit disappointed that neither my husband nor my daughter were overly impressed by my Croque Monsieur.  I confess, I didn't follow the broiling steps religiously.  I was a bit impatient I guess.

Anyway, I am not giving up yet. I am going to work on my techniques until I get it as delicious as the one that I ate in Paris. 

Just wish me luck!

So how many of you out there love the Croque Monsieur as much as I do?

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha


  1. Croque Monsieurs are delicious! I had an equally delicious Croque Madame (a Monsieur with an added over-easy egg) while in the gardens of Versaille! Thank you for taking me back to a great, yummy time!

  2. I have a memory of a meal I ate at the Hungarian pavilion at the Vancouver Worlds Fair. I think it was cabbage rolls. In my memory it was one of the best I've ever eaten. I tried to find Hungarian cabbage rolls again, but there aren't many Hungarian restaurants in Stockton (used to be one in Lodi). But I've also decided the reason it was so wonderful is that I was so hungry after walking around the fair. But someday I will find them and I hope they are as good as I remember


    1. I think you are right. We were starving by the time we ate those sandwiches that is why it tasted so good. But I still have to work on my techniques to make a better Croque monsieur

  3. Rena, we should get together and make a wonderful Croque Monsieur.

  4. Yes, thanks for the bringing back the wonderful memory. I wasn't in France, but on the other side of the world, in Honolulu. They had what they called a Croque Monsieur in one of the hotels on Wikiki. It had the ham, the gruyere, and really good white bread. Then, they dipped the whole thing in French Toast batter and grilled it. When it was done, they sifted some powdered sugar on it and added a dab of tart red jelly. I still don't know whether that was authentic, but it was one of my favorite sandwiches ever. Savory, sweet, melty goodness...mmmm. Malia and I sometimes make them at home, sans the ham, these days. Maybe this way it would be a Croque Bebe'?

    1. The dipped sandwich you had is definitely a Monte Cristo!! :D

    2. Yes, you are absolutely right! Silly me. :-D After a bit of digging on it's origin, however--I wanted at least to see if it was French--I found that the Monte Cristo is a variation of the Croque Monsieur! Perhaps easier to make than the original with Bechamel? Anyway, I have still to experience an authentic unvaried Croque Monsieur...sans the ham (well, so much for unvaried. :) Panteha's pictures are so yummy looking, I can't stop thinking about it!