Okay here I am, taking baby steps into the vast and daunting world of French cuisine. I know what you’re thinking.. good luck with THAT! Honestly, I hear a lot of talk about how the best cooks in the world are from France. Or if you want to really study from the best culinary ekspeRR (experts) go to PaRRRiie. (Paris) But growing up for me, even now, I don’t feel that I’ve even tapped the surface of French food. And I’m only talking about eating here. I feel like I would only know the food is French if I look at the menu say my order to the waiter, then the waiter would repeat my order to me, and it’d sound COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from what I had just said. So I’d double back, and just say, that’s the one with the mushrooms right? Okay. We’re cool. THEN I would know it’s French! Hahaha.
Kidding aside though, I seriously wanna learn more about this intimidating gastronomic annomaly. But I think I should start with the basics. Off the top of my head, the only food I’d probably associate with the French are, croissants onion soup, and foies gras. But there are so so much more than that, the basics, or the base of most recipes may even be French!! Let’s see, there’s Omelette, mayonnaise, béchamel sauce, pastries, and well, a gazillion cheeses! J Even the words hors d’ouvres and Entrée are French! Haha. But this I blog entry is not about learning French food or even French words. It’s about trying to make a really really simple French Toast. J
So I decided to look around the web for a nice and easy French dish. Well, it’s not really a dish, more of a sandwich. I decided to make the Croque Monsieur! (A fancy French Toast) It’s a simple sandwich the only main and not-so-difficult part of it is making the béchamel sauce. I took the béchamel sauce recipe from Mark Bittman’s iphone app: How to Cook Everything. As usual.
So assembling the croque monsieur is slightly easier than assembling a lasagna: start with a nice white and soft sandwich bread, a layer of sliced turkey ham (you can use any kind of ham), spread on that white thick béchamel sauce and top it with a good helping of grated gruyere cheese, close the sandwich with another slice of bread, béchamel and more grated gruyere! Then pop it in the oven for a few mins. And VOILA! you have a nice rich delicious French sandwich! – and if you wanna sound a bit more sophisticated call it Croque Monsieur.
The only thing expensive about this dish is the Gruyere cheese. I know it’s so good that’s why I really got the right cheese for this, but you can substitute it with grated Gouda or grated Emmental.
Here’s my Gouda version, it’s not grated though, I just had them sliced. But it did the trick nonetheless. Kept me satisfied! Bon appetite! 🙂
Oh and I got the recipe from GialloSafferano Ipad App. Check it out! 🙂