La Belle Au Bois Gourmand: Son altesse, le Croque Monsieur

Friday, February 10, 2012

Son altesse, le Croque Monsieur

I miss baking or grilling with the oven as my cosy flat in Turin (tiny and untidy bohemian style) doesn’t have one.
Apart from skewers of meat or a descent fish, I would like to cook in it the perfect croque monsieur.
If you call it toast, I can easily get offended. This little crusty crunchy cheesy thing is one of the few things I like from France. Let’s put it this way: Paris is beautiful, French language is so chic, but French people aren’t that nice towards us Italians (my French friends of course are ok and bounding as friends kills all prejudices and shortsightness)
In 2009 while at the movies, I was with Carina watching "It's complicated" starring Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin. The film is hilarious and spontaneous.
Streep's character served Steve's one a croque monsieur. I never heard about it previously and I immidiately asked myself "What's that thing?".
The following year, while visiting Magali in Limeil-Brevannes, in Paris' suburbia, I had the chance to try a croque monsieur in Paris city.

Emmenthal or Gruyère cheese melted on a thick slice of bread, with beachamel spread on it and ham layered on. Here you have, His Highness, Croque Monsieur.
Of course you can have it on the grill or make it in the pan though to do it in the oven, I think is the best option.
Depending on further ingredients added, the croque monsier becomes a croque madame if with egg on top, croque provençal if with tomato, croque tartiflette if contains potatoes and Reblechon chees and so on.
Nowadays it becomes also Croque McDo, at the fast food chain McDonald's though, it's a simple toast with one extra slice of ham and guys, I do not see anything gratin in there!
First try it in France, maybe in a typical parisien bistrot. Then try this at home.

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