Lazy Man’s Croque-Monsieur

I picked a friend up from the airport earlier this morning. He just came back from a working trip in Beijing, and he had a 3Β hours layover in Penang before catching his connecting flight back to KL. Don’t ask me why he didn’t fly directly between KL and Beijing, I have no idea how he and his admin booked his flights.

He said he needed a shower, internet access, and breakfast, in that particular order. So we just came back to my place, where water and internet is in abundance. And I made breakfast for us.

Usually, I would give in to my more eccentric tendencies when making food on weekends, but since there is someone else eating with me today, better to keep things simple and fail-safe. That is how I decided to make a French dish, the Croque-Monsieur!

Ingredients (for 2 pax)

  1. 4 slices of bread
  2. 4 slices of cheese (cheddar, parmesan, mozarella, whatever you got)
  3. 2 slices of ham
  4. a knob of butter

Procedure

croque monsieur
1. Lay out 2 slices of bread.
croque monsieur
2. Apply butter to bread surface.
croque monsieur
3. Turn 1 piece of bread into butter facing down, place 1 slice of cheese on it.
croque monsieur
4. Place 1 slice of ham on top of cheese.
croque monsieur
5. Place another slice of cheese on top of ham.
croque monsieur
6. Place the other slice of bread on top, this time butter side up.
croque monsieur
7. Place the sandwich on preheated pan, low heat.
croque monsieur
8. Cover the sandwich up with foil.

According to a Frenchie, this move will ensure no moisture will seep into the bread when cooking, keeping the sandwich crispy and fluffy rather than moist and soggy. Genius!

croque monsieur
9. Two minutes on each side, then repeat steps 1-8 for another round.

Croque-Monsieur is best served with Bechamel sauce. The problem is, to make a real bechamel sauce require extensive effort that I am not prepared to take. So, I settled for the best alternative instead. A quick trip downstairs to the in-house convenience store and problem solved.

croque monsieur
10. The Bechamel sauce alternative.

All that is left is to plate up and eat..

croque monsieur

croque monsieur

The friend asked: “Why are you giving such a fancy name to your sandwich? It is just a normal grilled ham and cheese sandwich!

It isn’t! Croque-Monsieur is a French dish! See, there’s even a Wikipedia entry for it, here!

Nobody really knows why the dish is called as such. After all, in French, croquer means to crunch/bite, monsieur means mister/man, so croque-monsieur is literally translated as: to bite a man? A version of the story is that, the French was inspired to make this after seeing some Polynesian natives (in some versions it was Australian aborigines) toasting a piece of meat between two pieces of dough. Those Frenchies thought the meat was human flesh. That’s how the idea of croque-monsieur is born,Β at least in one version of the stories.

There are a few modern variations to this dish. For example, if you serve it with a poached egg on top of the sandwich, the dish is called croque-madame.

If you want to know how to pronounce Croque-Monsieur, watch this video by French Guy Cooking. I myself was inspired to do it after watching it. This is the same guy who inspired me to make the failed Okonomiyaki with his UMAI! declaration. πŸ˜€

26 Comments

  1. That looks like a grilled ham and cheese sandwich which I totally love. It is funny because this is perfect timing as I had my first one in years about a week ago (there are some things that pop into your mind and you wish for them immediately!) However, I agree that it would taste better with some chicken chowder soup!

    • Well, it is a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, with a French twist and name on it πŸ˜€
      I know your feeling! Sometimes you just get a craving that must be satisfied immediately at all costs!

  2. Haha high class name for cheese+ham sandwich.. I like one that looks similar with yours, from Delifrance, the creamy sauce is ‘kiap’ together in the bread.. Au gratin something.. Nice..

    • I think all exotic sandwiches also similar pattern hahaha! Au gratin means browned/charred crust on top. πŸ˜›

  3. Nice! I have never made this sandwich before. I used to wonder what is Croque Monsieur and in my mind I used to imagine it as Mr Croque πŸ˜€ I scrolled up again to look at your nicely browned sandwich πŸ™‚

  4. Monsieur, your grilled ham and cheese sandwich looks simple and nice (although I don’t like cheese). Anyway, I think I’ve seen (on TV) some dude making this sandwich with an iron (think about it) πŸ˜€

    • Bonjour madame, and thank you for your compliments! πŸ˜€
      Making sandwich with an iron? You mean those that we use to iron our clothes? I cannot imagine it πŸ™„

      • Yes, the very same iron we use to iron our clothes. I suppose if you heat it enough and press it on the bread, it’ll melt the cheese and give you some burnt marks on the bread..hehe! But your iron won’t be a pretty sight after that πŸ˜€

  5. ah, nice!!! i like this!! looks simple and something i can (i mean i am able to) do.. ham and cheese with bread, that is kind of nice.. and goes well with the can soup too i supposed.. thanks for sharing!! i would probably tambah more cheese, and hope that cover-with-foil method works well with that..

  6. You really take the trouble and effort to cook these croque monsieur. Looks absolutely delicious! I have eaten croque-madame once only and it was a big mistake on my part because I don’t like to eat runny yolks but yet I had to eat them because there was cheese on it and so my spouse could not eat the runny yolks and cheese for me. Let me fish out the photos and do a post on the croque-madame.

  7. Your friend is so lucky to have you as his friend and yet he wants to chide you for giving fancy names to your sandwich. Ditch him next time!

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