Today I want to be in Paris… Reading Descartes, smoking a Davidoff cigarette, and drinking champagne. I always picture being in a Paris cafe including a cup of coffee or glass of champagne and smoking a cigarette. Maybe this tobacco obsession is due to every art deco paris cafe poster I’ve ever seen or maybe it’s due to the fact that I’m on day two of quitting this disgusting habit myself, so my mind easily craves romanticized notions of smoking. Whatever the case may be I definitely want to be sitting in a street cafe on the Quai Branly, the Siene on one my right and the Tour d’Eiffel on my left.
As I’ve shared in previous posts, when I desire to hop on a plane and travel to a far off place, I try to find a way to take myself there through culinary and imaginative means. So today, I researched a classic Parisian cafe dish… le croque monsieur! This dish is comfort food meets elegance. I believe our standard american diner menu item, the grilled ham with cheese, was born from the inspiration of this french classic. Croque-Monsieur meaning “gentleman’s crunch” or “gentleman’s bite” was most likely created by a Paris chef in the early 1900s, then these sandwiches later became ubiquitous in Parisian cafes sometime around 1910. (There is a specific story but I’m not sure of its historic or legendary beginnings… you can judge for yourself).
The beautiful thing about the sandwich is that it can be modified in a variety of ways, whatever you want you can put between two slices of bread, and you have a sandwich. Le croque monsieur is no exception, it already has many alterations… you have the croque madame, the croque provencal, and the croque auvergnat (these are just the french variations). Because I am always looking to create unique dishes, and because I had left overs from my breakfast I decided to put my own spin on this time-honored cafe sandwich.
I started my morning with crepes and coffee. So, what better way to continue the obsession de français, than with a bordeaux and repurposing my breakfast left-overs for a delicious lunch. So here is today’s Tasty Tuesday recipe …
- 3 Tbsp. Flour
- 2 Tbsp. Butter
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups shredded swiss cheese
- 1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese
- 12 pieces of cooked bacon
- dijion mustard
- 12 prepared crepes
- In a medium sauce pan melt butter and add flour. Combine with a whisk until it forms a paste.
- Add milk in sauce pan over medium heat whisk until it become thick, forming a bechamel sauce.
- Remove from heat and whisk in 1 1/2 cup of the swiss cheese and the pecorino cheese.
- Spread dijion on each crepe, then wrap one piece of bacon and some swiss cheese in each crepe.
- In a casserole dish arrange rolled up crepes, and pour cheese sauce over top the crepes.
- Place under broiler (set to high) until golden brown.