Food, Lunch, Recipes, Sandwich

Croque Monsieur

February 13, 2014

Salut mes amis. After letting you in on one of my mom’s best-kept recipe secrets, we’ll continue the French food theme today.

Croque Monsieur {}

Considering it’s not the healthiest of diet foods around, lately I’ve been having Croque Monsieur on too many occasions!

Croque Monsieur {}

It all began the other week when I was ill. For several days I was too tired to work, my muscles ached, and worst of all, I lost my appetite. I tried my best to not let it affect me and continued going to lectures, but after two days of feeling rather unwell, I gave in and retired to bed at 5 o’clock in the afternoon. I could have fallen asleep the second I lied down, but thought that it presented the perfect opportunity for a movie night… so I watched It’s Complicated.

It’s a movie I’ve seen too many times but one I never tire of seeing. Everything about it {the location, the house, the kitchen (!!!), the food….} is perfect.

For those who aren’t as familiar with the plot, in one scene Meryl Streep’s character makes dinner, Croque Monsieur, for herself and her architect / love interest.  That particular dinner scene isn’t even a big part of the movie, yet every time I see it I long for a richly buttered, oven-baked ham and cheese sandwich.

Croque Monsieur {}

After an 11-hour slumber that night, I woke up feeling fresh and so much healthier {clearly the antibiotics had kicked in}. Best of all, my appetite was back! I ate my usual breakfast, followed by a rather unspectacular lunch, had my afternoon coffee, but I still felt like I wanted something slightly more substantial….so I made Croque Monsieur. And oh, was it good. I made it with ingredients I had at home so it wasn’t the actual thing, but it was still plenty tasty and I may have even had it with a side of crisps. No judging!

Since then, I’ve re-made this several times and béchamel sauce has become a staple ingredient in my kitchen. I followed up with one of my best friends, who just happens to be French, to figure out how the French make Croque Monsieur. As always, I made some minor changes to the original, but the overall concept is très français.

Bon Appétit!

Croque Monsieur {}

Croque Monsieur

makes 3 sandwiches

My mom always says that béchamel sauce is something you can’t make just one portion of. It’s true, and fact is most recipes require a lot more than just a couple of spoons. This recipe will make enough béchamel sauce for 3 sandwiches. You can however, make more and freeze some. It’s always good to have some on hand for when it’s lasagne night.


Béchamel sauce:

  • 15 grams of butter
  • 20 grams of all-purpose flour
  • 200ml milk
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • a pinch of salt
  • cracked pepper and dried chili, to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp. of fresh lemon juice

You will also need:

  • 6 slices of sourdough bread
  • 1-2 tbsp. of Dijon mustard
  • 9 thin slices of ham
  • ~1/3 cup of grated Gruyère cheese


Béchamel sauce:

Heat up the butter in a small saucepan. When bubbles begin to form, add the flour and immediately start stirring, using a wire whisk. The flour and butter will from a thick paste. Now stir in the milk and whisk until the paste dissolves and the sauce thickens. Remove from heat, add the lemon juice and season with salt, pepper and chili. Set aside.

To assemble:

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Toast the sourdough bread in the toaster until just golden, but not too dark. Then smear the bread slices {all 6} with Dijon mustard. Add 3 slices of ham onto 3 of the bread slices and top with the remaining bread. Add 1-2 tbsp. of béchamel sauce onto the sandwich, and top with a good amount of grate Gruyère. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. By then, the cheese should have melted and be bubbling. Turn the oven to the grill setting and turn up the heat to ~200°C. Bake another 1-2 minutes, until the cheese is golden. Then remove from the oven and serve immediately with a side salad.

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  • Reply Kathryn February 13, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Im pretty sure that a good croque monsieur is one of life’s greatest pleasures. I’m glad you’re feeling better now and I hope the sandwich helped : )

    • Reply Antonia February 14, 2014 at 8:26 am

      I know, it’s the perfect combination of carbs, fats and cheese 😉 What else could you ask for!! xx

  • Reply Camille February 13, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    Français, without “e” 😉
    Croque Monsieur is typically something my mother makes when my brother and I are sick !

    • Reply Antonia February 14, 2014 at 8:25 am

      Thank you for proof-reading! What would I do without you 😉 xx

  • Reply Jane February 14, 2014 at 11:46 am

    This looks absolutely delicious! I’ll have to make it this weekend. What could be better than cheese and bread? X Jane

    • Reply Antonia February 14, 2014 at 1:33 pm

      Thanks Jane 🙂
      I know…why would you need any other food groups when you’ve got bread and cheese!? xx

  • Reply Stephanie Fung February 17, 2014 at 10:12 am

    I’ve nominated you for the Liebster award! Check out my blog to have a look at the questions I’ve asked you and I look forward to reading your answers!

    Much love, Steph x

    • Reply Antonia February 17, 2014 at 8:03 pm

      THANK YOU so much Stephanie! Those are some great questions!! Can’t wait to answer them xx

  • Reply Eloïse February 17, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    Next time you come to visit Cam we need to take you to Le Truc, they have amaaazing croque monsieurs !!!

    • Reply Antonia February 18, 2014 at 7:41 am

      Sounds like an excellent plan! Can’t wait 🙂 x

  • Reply Katie (The Muffin Myth) February 20, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    I have that exact experience whenever I watch Sideways – I can’t get through it without opening a bottle of wine! Turns out all this time I’ve had croque monsieur and monte christo’s mixed up in my head… both sound so good, but I’ve never made them due to not eating meat. I may just have to try the croque without the ham for a super indulgent grilled cheese sandwich!

  • Reply Pretend Croque Monsieur Bake | Local Food Finds April 20, 2014 at 11:56 am

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  • Reply Sara johnson January 23, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    Is it possible to freeze ready made croque Monsieur??

    • Reply Antonia January 26, 2015 at 9:49 am

      Hi Sara. I’ve never tried to freeze Croque Monsieur as I think it might go a bit soggy when you take it out of the freezer. I always prepare mine fresh!

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