Sunday, March 25, 2007

Bon Appetit

Croque Monsieur, originally uploaded by razzieswirl.

Apparently, the Croque Monsieur is a very popular sandwich in France. The first time I'd ever heard of these was while watching Ina Garten on the Food Network. She said something along the lines of "if you go into a cafe and they don't have a croque monsieur don't eat there, it should be staple in every good French cafe". I've also heard it's their version of a ham and cheese sanwich. I guess it would be, it has both ham and cheese, but it goes a little above and beyond that because you top it with a melted cheese sauce, and more cheese. How the french stay so thin is a mystery to me. With delicacies like croissants and croque monsieurs, not to mention pastry kings like Herme how do they manage? Maybe it's all the walking? Some say they only take a few bites of everything on their plate. I will say I am glad I do not live in France, I'm not a big fan of only taking a few bites of something, especially something as tasty as a Croque Monsieur. I've made these sandwiches only a handful of times but I adore them. I only make them for special occasions, and usually those occasions are revolving around the food. French movie night, girls night, and this afternoon.

It is my goodbye to bad food for at least the next 6 weeks. I'm going to try to whip myself into better shape by the beginning of summer. Don't get me wrong, I already exercise 3-5 days a week and rarely gorge on such things as Croque Monsieurs, but in order to really focus on losing weight I need to cut out all of cheese/bread/sweets intake and make a commitment to exercise 5 days a week.

Unfortunately, I have just caught a very severe case of the cold flu. It's quite awful, and I'm not enjoying it one bit. Seeing as my head and body are throbbing, and my eyes are constantly at half mast due to said throbbing of the head, I am in no shape today to go to the gym as planned. So, I gave myself one more day, it is the day of rest for some anyway, yes? Yesterday it was doughnuts and thai food, today it's cheesy french ham sandwiches and cookies. And tomorrow, even if I can't go to the gym due to my health, the salads and protein diet begins.

So just in case you are free to eat whatever you like for the next six weeks, here is the recipe:

Recipe: Croque Monsieurs

Bechamel Sauce:


1 TBS Butter
1 TBS Flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Gruyere
1/2 cup grated Parmesan


1. Melt butter in small saucepan
2. Add flour, stir, and cook for one minute
3. Add milk slowly, allowing to thicken before you add more etc.
4. Add cheese, and stir until melted

Sandwiches: (Makes 6)


12 slices of white bread or a good crunchy loaf of bakery bread
1/2 lb. of ham (I used all natural honey ham)
1 1/2 cup gruyere shredded
Dijon Mustard


1. Toast bread in oven or toaster until lightly browned.
2. Dijon one half of your sanwich
3. Add slice or two of ham and sprinkle of cheese to middle of sandwich and top with another slice of bread (without dijon)
4. Place sanwich on baking sheet
5. Top with ladel full of bechamel sauce and another handful of cheese
6. Repeat steps 1-5 for each sandwich
7. Bake in 325 degree oven for 15 minutes, broil for 30 seconds or so to brown cheese.
8. Enjoy!