A ham and cheese toastie with a fancy name perhaps … but this is still one of my favourite weekend brunch dishes – also great for those lazy stay-at-home Sunday nights in front of the TV. Its origins are obscure, though some credit a brasserie on the Boulevard de Capucines in Paris. It appeared on French menus from around the early 1900s, the rather nonsensical name meaning ‘crunch-sir’. It may have been named by the French, but for me it’s always associated with Harry’s Bar in Venice … which is why I like to serve it with a Bellini.
- 4 slices white sandwich bread
- 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 100g Swiss Gruyere
- 60g salted butter
- 2 slices leg ham (about 100g)
- Lay the bread on a chopping board.
- Spread 2 slices with mustard, taking it right out to the edges.
- Finely grate cheese over all 4 slices, pressing it down gently to keep it in place.
- Top 2 slices with ham and place the other 2 slices on top to form 2 sandwiches.
- Heat a large frying pan over low heat.
- Add butter, increase heat to medium and heat until it melts and just starts to brown.
- Add sandwiches and cook for about 2 minutes each side, until well browned, occasionally pressing down gently with an egg slice.
- Remove from the pan, cut in half and serve immediately.
Where was croque monsieur invented?
The origin of croque monsieur is obscure, though some credit a brasserie on the Boulevard de Capucines in Paris.
What does croque monsieur mean?
The rather nonsensical name of this upmarket ham and cheese toastie means ‘crunch-sir’ in French.
Who made croque monsieur famous?
Although this is a French sandwich, it is famously associated with the iconic Harry’s Bar in Venice, where it’s served wrapped in a white napkin as a bar snack. Perfect with their other famous menu item, a white peach Bellini.
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