Croque monsieur

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Croque Monsieur[edit | edit source]

Croque Monsieur sandwich

Croque Monsieur is a classic French grilled ham and cheese sandwich that has become a beloved staple in French cuisine and has gained popularity worldwide. With its combination of rich flavors and satisfying textures, the Croque Monsieur has become a favorite choice for a quick and delicious meal.

History and Origin[edit | edit source]

The Croque Monsieur originated in French cafés and bistros in the early 20th century. The exact origin of the sandwich is debated, but it is believed to have been created as a quick snack for Parisian workers and became a popular choice among the city's café-goers. The name "Croque Monsieur" translates to "Mister Crunch" or "Mister Bite," referring to the sandwich's crispy exterior.

Ingredients[edit | edit source]

The classic Croque Monsieur is made with the following ingredients:

Sliced bread: Traditionally, French pain de mie (white sandwich bread) is used for the sandwich. However, other types of bread, such as brioche or sourdough, can also be used. Ham: Thinly sliced ham, such as Parisian ham or cooked ham, is a key component of the sandwich. The ham provides a savory and salty flavor. Cheese: Gruyère or Emmental cheese is typically used in a Croque Monsieur. These cheeses melt well and complement the other flavors. Combinations of different cheeses can also be used for variation. Béchamel sauce: A creamy béchamel sauce is an essential element of the Croque Monsieur. It is made from butter, flour, milk, and a hint of nutmeg. The sauce adds richness and binds the sandwich together. Dijon mustard: Dijon mustard is often spread on the bread slices before assembling the sandwich. It adds a tangy and slightly spicy kick to the flavors.

Preparation[edit | edit source]

To prepare a Croque Monsieur, follow these steps:

Preheat a grill, skillet, or panini press. Spread a thin layer of Dijon mustard on one side of each bread slice. Place a slice of ham and a generous amount of cheese on top of the mustard side of one bread slice. Close the sandwich with another bread slice, mustard side facing inward. Generously spread béchamel sauce on the top of the sandwich. Place the sandwich, béchamel side up, onto the preheated grill or skillet. Cook until the bread turns golden brown and the cheese is melted, flipping the sandwich once to cook both sides evenly. Remove the sandwich from the heat and let it cool for a minute. Cut the Croque Monsieur in half diagonally and serve hot.

Variations[edit | edit source]

The classic Croque Monsieur has inspired various creative variations. Some popular options include:

Croque Madame: This variation adds a fried or poached egg on top of the Croque Monsieur, creating a rich and indulgent twist. Croque Hawaiian: In this variation, a slice of pineapple is added to the sandwich, providing a sweet and tangy flavor that contrasts with the savory ham and cheese. Croque Norvégien: This variation substitutes smoked salmon for the ham, adding a delicate and smoky flavor to the sandwich. Vegetarian Croque Monsieur: For vegetarians, the ham can be replaced with grilled vegetables or vegetarian deli slices.

In Popular Culture[edit | edit source]

The Croque Monsieur has made appearances in various forms of popular culture, including literature, films, and television shows. It is often depicted as a symbol of French cuisine and culture.

The Croque Monsieur has made appearances in various forms of popular culture, including literature, films, and television shows. It is often depicted as a symbol of French cuisine and culture.

Literature[edit | edit source]

The Croque Monsieur has been mentioned in several literary works, showcasing its presence in French culinary traditions. In Ernest Hemingway's novel "A Moveable Feast," he describes enjoying a Croque Monsieur and a glass of beer at a café in Paris. The sandwich has also been mentioned in various other novels and food memoirs set in France, highlighting its role as a quintessential French dish.

Films and Television[edit | edit source]

The Croque Monsieur has been featured in films and television shows, adding a touch of French gastronomy to the screen. In the film "It's Complicated," the character played by Meryl Streep prepares a mouthwatering Croque Monsieur for a brunch scene. Additionally, in the popular television series "Gossip Girl," the characters often indulge in Croque Monsieur sandwiches at upscale cafés, further showcasing its association with sophistication and elegance.

Culinary Influences[edit | edit source]

The popularity of the Croque Monsieur has transcended French borders and influenced culinary creations worldwide. In some countries, variations of the sandwich have been adapted to suit local tastes and ingredients. For example, in the United States, a Croque Monsieur-inspired sandwich called the "Monte Cristo" emerged, typically made with ham, cheese, and turkey, dipped in egg batter and fried.

See Also[edit | edit source]

French cuisine Sandwiches Cheese dishes Ham dishes

References[edit | edit source]

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