• By Martin
  • August 24, 2014

A Croque Monsieur (as the name suggests) is an outrageously French invention.  As French as Catherine Deneuve sipping Pastis with iced water while watching the Tour De France amongst a crowd of Picketing Officials.  However, the one thing slightly more annoying than comedy stereo types can be the fact that when ones Wife is held in the grips of a pregnancy food craving and tells you that only a Croque Monsieur for breakfast will do, the thought of making a cheese and dijon flavoured bechemal and then getting it to rapidly cool to a spreading consistency is more than any shoulder shrugging, Galoise smoking Papa to be can take.

Thank God then for this cheats way to French toasty heaven.  Ditch the Bechemal sauce and reach for the cream cheese my friend, because the end result is instant and so close to the real thing that you could possibly bluff your way to a Gallic citizenship.  At the very least it’ll be better than the God awful dried up specimens that I’ve been served here in England.


Ingredients:Croque Monsieur

2 slices of white bread

1-2 slices of good ham – Bayonne if you can get it.

Grated Gruyere cheese (Chedder or Emmental can be used as substitute)

Cream cheese

Dijon Mustard



Spread a layer of cream cheese onto a slice of bread followed by a thin layer of Dijon Mustard, followed by a slice or two of ham and grated cheese.  Top with the second slice of bread and toast both sides in a grill pan or Pannini press.

When golden brown take out and spread another layer of cream cheese & mustard on the uppermost side.  Top with more grated cheese & toast under a pre-heated grill until the cheese bubbles up nicely.  Enjoy!


On ingredients

Raymond Blanc has stated before in articles that he likes to use a British Wholemeal bread, and I’ve read other recipes that insist on expensive aged hams sliced off the bone but I think this makes for an uncharacteristically healthy feel that stands at odds with versions of this snack that I’ve had in France and Belgium.  For me it has to be sliced white soft bread and standard versions of everything else.  A combination that takes me back to a hot summer in the 80’s when my 17 year old self passed his driving test and within a month took off to drive around France with a school friend and a tent, eventually settling for a week in La Boule where we eked out the last of our money by pretty much living off Croque Monsieurs for our lunch and dinner.  There was nothing extravagant and special about the ingredients then and there shouldn’t be now.  It’s decent fast food that goes down well with red wine or a cold bottle of Kronenbourg.  Pure and simple.Croque Monsieur2

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