Croque Monsieur, “Crisp Mister” is a hot ham and cheese sandwich but it sounds so much tastier with a french twist. The earliest written reference is traced to Proust’ novel À la recherche du temps perdu (In search of lost time) in 1918. However, Croque Monsieur started to appear on Parisian café menus much earlier, around 1910. It is rumoured that they were first created by workers who accidentally left their ham and cheese sandwiches on hot radiators while they worked. The finishing café touch was to grill the sandwich until crisp and golden.
The Queen's Croque Monsieur
- 1 stick salted butter softened
- 8 slices slices pain de mie* or firm white bread *Pain de Mei refers to sandwich bread, ideally as square as possible and little crust, but use what you have on hand.
- 8 ounces Gruyère cheese 16 thin slices with rind remov
- 8 slices smoked ham thin, 1-ounce slices
- Preheat the broiler. Butter the bread slices on both sides. Top 4 slices of bread with 8 thin slices of Gruyère, followed by all 8 slices of ham. Finish with the remaining Gruyère on top of the ham, and then lay the remaining 4 bread slices on top of the cheese.
- Put the croques monsieur onto a baking sheet, and place the baking sheet under the broiler for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the bread turns golden brown and crispy. Flip the sandwiches over carefully, and brown the other side. Remove the four sandwiches from the broiler, trim off the crusts, and cut each sandwich into eight pieces. Serve immediately..
- If you plan to make the croques monsieur ahead of time, they can be laid between layers of parchment paper and refrigerated