I have always loved France. That’s why, when it came time to pick what language I wanted to study in middle school, I chose French. I continued on through high school, and over the course on my studies I learned about the language, the culture, and the food. And I fell in lovewith the food. When I first learned about Orangina and Nutella, I thought they were the coolest things ever. Granted, to this day, I still think Nutella is one of the most amazing foods though I did get over my Orangina craze…Another food I remember learning about was the croque monsieur. It’s basically a fancy grilled ham and cheese sandwich, but it’s oh so good! Typically made with Gruyère or Emmantal (both Swiss cheeses) and a Bechamel or Mornay sauce, this sandwich first emerged in Paris in the early 1900s. Its creamy and cheesy and decadent. A perfect Parisian treat! Add an egg and you have yourself a croque madame! Croque Monsieur or Croque Madame
Yield: 2 sandwiches
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
Pinch of ground nutmeg
4 slices firm white sandwich bread
4 ounces thinly sliced Black Forest ham
½ cup Gruyère cheese, shredded
2 eggs, optional
Preheat broiler, with oven rack set in center of oven.
To make the Mornay sauce: In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and whisk for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Increase heat to medium-high and boil until sauce thickens, whisking constantly, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, add nutmeg and Gruyère cheese; stir to combine and melt the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
To make the sandwiches: Place bread slices on baking sheet and bake for 3 to 4 minutes, or until toasted. Flip bread over and toast for another 2 or 4 minutes. Top two pieces of bread, each with half the ham and 2 tablespoons Gruyère. Top with remaining bread. Spoon Mornay sauce, then ¼ cup grated cheese over sandwiches. Bake for 5 minutes on center rack, then move the rack to the top position and broil for 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden brown on top. Serve immediately.
To make a Croque Madame, fry an egg sunny side up and place on top of the sandwich before serving.
Source: Adapted from Bon-Appétit and Ina Garten
What yummy sandwiches! I recently made them myself and they were dreamy. Btw, I, too, still have an ongoing love for Nutella!
Nutella is too amazing for anyone to not love!!
Both are great sandwiches but I like the Croque Madame a bit more. It’s the egg on top and the richness the yolk brings to the party. Honestly, though, you can’t go wrong with either. Great post!
Thank you! I prefer the madame as well, but I also just love adding egg to things 🙂
There is nothing better than Nutella…a food of the Gods.
These sandwiches look out of this world good. If only I have the ingredients on hand I’d make one my breakfast!
Thank you! It would make a delicious breakfast 🙂 And I totally agree with you about the Nutella!
I’ve never heard of or seen this sandwich. I think I would prefer the monsieur as I’m not a huge fan of eggs. The cheese looks delightful! And it looks like a great sandwich for soup season. 🙂
It’s a wonderful sandwich! Something beyond the ordinary sandwich, for sure. I’m sure it would be great with soups as well!
I also love Orangina! It’s the only “fast drink” I am crazy for (especially since they started to make Orangina light 😉 ).
I didn’t know Nutella was French (I have always assumed it was Italian, because of the name I suppose).
Croque Madame and Croque Monsieur are so simple and so luscious, aren’t they?
Thank you once more for the award and excuse-me I haven’t even looked for my blog’s name on the list (I haven’t expected it at all, thank you for such a big surprise).
Your welcome! Much deserved and I look forward to learning more about you!
I don’t know if Nutella is French, I just know it was in my French class that I first learned about it and fell in love! It was huge in Europe and thankfully it spread over to the US!
Your post made me hungry!! I love the presentation..the sunny side up egg on top of it looks gorgeous….I think you made a perfect paring with the tomatoes.
Thank you! The tomatoes were a nice light side to go with a richer sandwich. And the egg was just an added bonus!
Wow, best looking croques I ever saw, and I live in France 😀 To be honest, you need to go to a good place to get a decent croque. The concept of the sandwich itself is wonderful, but far too many places make them in bulk before and then just heat them on demand in a microwave or oven. The ham is old and dry, the cheese rubbery, and the bread stale… not good. Best way is to make them at home and yours looking incredible… great job 😀
Thank you so much!!! That means a lot coming from someone who lives in France 🙂 “Fast food” croques don’t sound too appealing… that’s unfortunate that places aren’t putting in the effort for good quality sandwiches.
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