Saturday, December 31, 2011

Croque Monsieur... Finally, and It's not Complicated!

Have you ever seen a recipe featured in a film that you couldn't wait to
try at home? Well, that's the story behind my burning desire to
create Croque Monsieur after seeing, It's Complicated...
I admit, my burning desire has been simmering for quite a while... I mean,
the film debuted two years ago this month! Maybe it's because the disk
lives in my blueray player and I just happen to be watching it again for
the 37th time, right now... But I hardly feel I'm as late to this party as I
obviously am. Most other bloggers that loved the movie as much as
I did, (still do!) who couldn't wait to blog their adventure in Croque
Monsieur have been there and already did that a long, long time ago!
But you know me... I'm no follower. I will
make my Béchamel sauce only in my own time!
And, not a moment sooner! So for this last
chance to make dinner in 2011, I decided it's time!
Just for the record... It's not the story-line of a divorced couple committing adultery
between Streep and Baldwin, or the reaction to their affair by their three, barely
adult children who can't decide whether they actually remember the divorce or
should blame it for their seemingly constant fragile emotional states that has
me in love with this film. No... It's first the house and second, the food!
Although the story goes that Streep is eager to remodel it, the kitchen
in her movie-home is to die for! I find myself watching in slow-motion
and rewinding, (often!) just to get a better look at the serving pieces,
dishes and accessories used to decorate the dining and kitchen sets!
So if you haven't seen the movie or if you haven't already made your
own Croque Monsieur, I'm recommending you do both! There are lots of
recipe variations, all basically the same, so I suggest you do a little research
and pick one that suits you best. In the film, Streep's Croque Monsieur appears
open-faced, but I didn't go that route. In most recipes, the cheese covering
the Black Forest ham is sliced Gruyère, but I didn't go that route either!
The important thing to remember, regardless of the recipe you choose, is to
use only the absolute best quality ingredients you can buy. It makes a huge
difference, and if you just slap lunch meat on bread and cover it in cheese,
you're going to miss the luxury that is Croque Monsieur done properly!
One thing I did do like they did in the movie
is cover my baking sheet with parchment!
After all, this is one of the baking sheets I use to make my sugar
cookies, so we can't have it mussed up with baked-on cheese!
And, there will be cheesey spillage this evening...
Lots of it!
Trust me when I tell you that men love this dish!
Maybe it's because they appreciate simple things. Or maybe it's because
men are simple... I can't be sure. But what I am sure of is that my Croque
Monsieur received rave reviews and an immediate request for an encore!
I said, I can do that!
Tomatoes on top after the broiler or tomatoes under the cheese before you
broil... You decide. But do use a beautiful, very ripe heirloom tomato!
And, do top with a sprinkle of extra Parmesan!
You'll be happy you did!
Remember I said there were numerous ways to get to
a great Croque Monsieur? Well, this is my way...
Finished with plenty of California avocado!
I think I'll call it Le Croque Monsieur Monterey!

8 comments:

  1. I'm right with you on the house, the kitchen, the food.....BUT THE GARDEN!!!! It was so FAKE it was real to me.
    It was just on TV a few days ago and I stopped what I was doing and watched the whole thing...commercials and all.
    sigh.
    I wish they'd do another movie....with the new house!

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  2. Oh that looks so, so good! I've only seen that movie once, so I don't remember this dish at all. But I *do* remember how much I loved that house!! I have dream homes all over the Hollywood film landscape.

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  3. Believe it or not that is what I made for dinner last night! I usually make this at least once when I have left over ham. My dish is called Ham Mornay after the same dish on the menu in a little restaurant I used to go to in New York on market trips...La Fondue. I don't think it is there anymore but it was on 52nd or 53rd between 6th and 7th Avenues. A wonderful Sangria accompanied it. I made my own version last night with apple cider, apples, mulling spices and oranges...a great meal. I do enjoy your blog and wish the best for you and your family in 2012.

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  4. Have to admit that I haven't seen the movie yet but when I do, I'll be watching all the kitchen scenes closely. LOL

    Your Croque Monsieur looks fabulous. It's definitely a sandwich my husband would enjoy...again and again.

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  5. This looks so good that I know I will be making it this weekend with the left over ham I will have (I'm baking one tomorrow). I also loved the movie's house, especially the kitchen. BTW ~ those avocados are making me drool!!

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  6. I am right with you on Meryl's movie kitchen. It is stunning. Kudos to the set decorator. I absolutely love your take on Croque Monsieur. The avocados especially.

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  7. I am totally there with you...love love love the house, food, and the garden. I just watched this movie again today and made croque monsieur for the very first time. I am a vegetarian, so I used veggie ham and it was absolutely delicious! I didn't use gruyere either, I used some parm and Trader Joe's unexpected cheddar. My husband and daughter went crazy! I may make croque madame tomorrow for dinner!!!

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  8. I am totally with you on the house, food, and garden! I LOVE the movie and watched it again today, and was inspired to make my first croque monsieur! I am a vegetarian so I used veggie ham, and I also didn't use gruyere. Instead I used parm, and Trader Joe's "Unexpected cheddar." YUM My daughter and husband went crazy...so crazy that tomorrow for dinner, I may just make croque madame!

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