A few days ago, I discovered the ever-so-popular French dish called the Croque Monsieur, which can be found in cafes and bistros all around France. It first appeared on menus in 1910, but was featured in Proust’s In Search of Lost Time in 1918.
The Croque Monsieur, or “mister crunch” when translated, is typically made of gruyere cheese, bread, ham, eggs, and a few more minor ingredients. Since it’s been a popular dish for over 100 years now, there have been many variations created; including the Hawaiian Croque Monsieur that incorporates charred pineapple. I decided to give the traditional recipe a twist to give it some contemporary teenage flair.
Prep time: 10-12 mins
Serving size: 2 sandwiches
French Toast Recipe:
- 1 egg
- spreadable margarine or butter
- a dash of cinnamon
- 4 slices of bread (can be the standard white or highly recommended sourdough)
- 2oz milk (can be standard 2% or highly recommended evaporated milk)
- 2 drops of vanilla extract
- 4 thinly sliced pieces of honey ham
- spreadable whipped cream cheese (can be plain or highly recommended strawberry flavor)
- maple syrup to drizzle (can be standard maple syrup, or flavored)
Making the French Toast:
In a bowl, combine the egg, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla extract, and whisk for 1 minute. Then set aside for 1 minute and prepare the slices of bread. Evenly butter both sides of each bread slice, then dip each buttered bread slice in the liquid mixture. The dipping process should be quick so that the bread does not absorb too much mixture, to the point that it is soggy. Toast the slices on a non-stick pan until both sides of each slice is slightly brown. And voila, you now have the french toast portion of the sandwich.
Building the Sandwich:
With both slices of toast now placed side by side, evenly spread cream cheese on each slice. Then, layer a few slices of cold cut ham on the slices of french toast. To complete the sandwich, drizzle maple syrup over the ham. And bon appetit!