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A little blog about food with recipes, reviews, commentary, and honesty.

I also offer event catering and private chef services; check out Earls Barton Eats! for more details.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Food Porn: Croque Monsieur

For our third date T took me to Paris. Yes I know, bloody show-off. Most men would consider a romantic meal, the cinema, or maybe some sort of mutual sporting activity. 

For all the clich├ęs it truly is the most magical of cities and whilst there I was determined to fully indulge in the Parisian cafe culture al la Francais. There was one cafe quite close to the Louvre; the interior was decked out in deep reds and a haze of cigarette smoke. The bistro tables were packed in without regard to personal space and the air was filled with the chatter of busy Parisians and the clink of red wine carafes. 

And there we consumed croque monsieur with skinny frites; and it was utterly heavenly. The oozy cheese, the crisp toast, the salty ham; perfect for a grey February afternoon. 

Inspired by Felicity Cloake's brilliant food feature in the Guardian, and T's begging eyes, I decided to try and recreate the croque monsieur for a grey July afternoon. 

Following Felicity's recipe was really easy, and for a gluten-free croque monsieur substitute the bread for a white GF brand, such as Genius, and remember to use GF plain flour for the bechamel sauce. 


Felicity's method of spreading the bread with melted butter before toasting gave the sandwich a delectable crunch; I think it's an essential step in the recipe. 


One thing I didn't manage to do successfully was to brown the cheese in the bechamel under the grill as the corners of the toast were starting to blacken (and there's nothing I hate more than burnt toast). But I probably should have toasted it for less beforehand; something to remember for next time! 

The sensation of sinking your teeth into a sandwich which is gooey, then crispy, then gooey, then crispy again is gorgeous. Give it a try on a rainy, miserable weekend lunchtime. 

The authentic additions of cigarette smoke, Edith Piaf, and red wine in a carafe is optional. 

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