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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Croque monsieur

Cheesy sandwich for the dairy addict
Croque monsieur ( pronounced as krohk muh-syuh ), the French sandwich that took me a long time to get its pronunciation right, is the most audacious sandwich I have ever eaten in Paris.  It was at a little café in front of Notre-Dame that my folks fell in love with it.  Overflowing with lava cheese, the simple assembly  was pure decadence - 2 pieces of generously buttered French bread engulfed by  grilled cheese that was seasoned with a hint of mustard .

I was all the  more mistaken to think that the 'lady sandwich'  ,croque madame , was a scaled down version. Far from it, CM is an  enriched version of croque monsieur topped  with a fried egg !

To replay our culinary  adventure in Paris, here's what I had for lunch on a Saturday afternoon.
Makes 4 sets of sandwiches.

2 T butter
2 T plain flour
2 cups milk
2 cups mixed cheese
2 t nutmeg
8 slices of ham


8 sourdough slices

Heat butter until bubbling. Cook flour in butter, stirring  with a whisk. Slowly add milk and whisk until mix is smooth and milk bubbles. Remove from heat, add nutmeg, salt and cheese. Whisk until mix is smooth.

Serve on a mini rack to keep the crisp last longer
For the bread, brush with olive oil and paint with mustard. On one-half of the sandwich, place ham on buttered  bread, pour cheese mix and assemble  with the other half of the sandwich. Pour some more cheese mix on the top of the sandwich.

Grill for 8 minutes or until brown. For optimum enjoyment, serve warm.

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