The Perfect Croque-Monsieur

You sip a vin blanc cassis, or demi pression, watching the world go by your Paris café table. You have just ordered a croque-monsieur.

Sadly, the anticipation proves more enjoyable than the reality. More often than should be the case, this long-time favourite Parisian bar snack is a travesty of the real thing.

Ingredients

You Need

  • For each person, two slices of buttered bread, crusts removed, a slice of cheese and a slice of ham. With only three main ingredients, there is not much leeway for failure. Use the best ingredients you can find. Choose real ham, not pressed shoulder, good cheeseGruyère is traditional, but Comté is even better – and use bread with some substance.

Method

For each ‘croque’, place the ham and cheese between the slices of bread, trimmed to fit. Grill or fry on both sides, until the bread is crisp and browned, and the cheese is melting.

Alternatives

A fried egg on top turns this into a ‘croque-madame’. Another version involves spreading the filled sandwich with a thick cheese-flavoured béchamel, before baking in the oven.This makes a tasty supper or lunch. Cut into squares, it can be served with drinks.