Croque Monsieur

The third day of 12 Days of Oscar brings us the 2009 film It’s Complicated.  Jane (Meryl Streep), a successful bakery owner and her ex-husband Jake (Alec Baldwin), who is remarried. The two begin having an affair following their son’s college graduation. Enter Steve Martin as Adam, the architect Jane has hired to remodel her home.  It all makes for some very comical moments, and an interesting love triangle.  Throughout the course of the film, Jane makes a lot of great food.  There are chocolate croissants, which she makes for Adam while the two are on a date.  There’s a butter salad with toast, and some lavender honey ice cream that also look fantastic.  Jane also prepares a croque monsieur for Adam, served open-faced, and eaten with a fork.

There are so many ways to make croque monsieur that it’s really up to you how you like it best.  At its most basic, croque monsieur consists of good bread, good ham, and good Gruyère cheese.  I was able to find the first two with ease, but my supermarket didn’t have Gruyère and with the threat of an approaching snowstorm, I couldn’t go to a second one.  So, I used Swiss, and that worked just fine.  Some croque monsieur has a bechamel, or tomatoes.  This one, you’ll notice, has neither.  In the name of keeping this both light and simple, I decided to skip the bechamel. This, with a salad, was a very good lunch.

Croque Monsieur

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices good French bread
  • 1/2 lb. sliced Virginia ham (2 slices per sandwich)
  • 1/4 lb. sliced Swiss cheese (you can also use grated Gruyère)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbs. milk
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • Dijon mustard

Directions:

Place ham on 4 slices of the bread.

Spread Dijon mustard on top of ham (as much as you like, may omit if desired).

Put a slice of Swiss cheese on top of ham and mustard.

Top each with a second slice of bread.

Beat the eggs and milk together in a shallow bowl.

Dip the sandwich, with the bread facing down into the bowl, into the egg mixture.

Flip and dip the other side.

Melt the butter in a skillet.

Place the sandwich into the skillet and cook, until bread is golden brown.

Flip and repeat so both sides are golden brown, and cheese has melted.

Makes 4 sandwiches.

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