Croque Monsieur or grilled ham & cheese if you like, is such a staple in our Belgian bistros that even if it is kinda French, you can say it is a bit Belgian too. I know it is a simple recipe, but this kind of simple I absolutely LOVE!
As part of a series of Belgian dishes posted every first Wednesday of the month, I vow to demystify these uber Belgian classics for you. Step-by-step I will show you what to do, this will have you successfully recreate those gorgeous rustic Belgian flavours you discovered in Belgium.
Now there are about a million variations of this croque, but as this is about Belgian Classics, I kept it traditional with boiled ham and Gouda cheese on white bread.
CROQUE MONSIEUR – this hot sandwich with ham and cheese appeared on French menus around 1910, even Proust mentioned it in his book. ( than again we know how he feels about madeleines, he was the original foodie) Croque Madame has a fried egg on top and Croque Cannibal is with beef tartare. Traditionally it is made with white soft bread.
- Looking for something different, Jamie Oliver has a great repice with kimchi and cheese crust.
- Use any hard cheese you like: Comte, Gruyere, Cheddar, Gouda, Emmental
- Mix it up and use Parmaham and Parmesan cheese for an Italian twist.
- Use any bread you like if white is not your preferred choice.
- You can also cook them in a grill pan, on the grill or in the oven.
STEP 1: you need bread, ham, cheese and butter. Cover 2 slices of bread on the outside with butter, layer ham and cheese. You can add a little mustard or serve it separately.
STEP 2: Heat a non-stick frying pan, fry the croque on the cheese side down for 5 minutes on medium to hot heat. Then flip on the other side and fry for another few minutes.
Belgian Classics: croque Monsieur
Yield 2 croques
- 4 slices of white bread
- 2 slices of boiled ham
- 2 slices of Gouda cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Butter one side of the 4 slices of bread.
- Assemble the croque: on the non-buttered side add a slice of cheese and a slice of ham. Close with another butter side up slice of bread. Repeat.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan, cheese side down fry for 5 minutes on medium to hot heat. Flip on the other side and fry for a few more minutes.
- Serve immediately with green salad and mustard.
on www.leeksandhighheels.com by Sandra Slawinski
Written and photographed by Sandra Slawinski without commercial deals. I used my Le Creuset frying pan, plate from ZaraHome, towel from Dille & Kamille, mustard from Ghent Tierenteyn.