Looking for brunch ideas? Stuart Forster shares his quick and easy croque monsieur recipe.
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Made with ham, cheese and eggs, the classic croque monsieur sandwich has long been a popular dish in France and beyond. Quick and easy to make, it’s a tasty all-day favourite and a dish I’ve enjoyed many times in French cafés and bars.
Traditionally, the croque monsieur is prepared in a frying pan. My quick and easy croque monsieur recipe is cooked in the oven. Why? Doing so gives me the opportunity to prepare everything else that goes into serving a tasty weekend breakfast or brunch.
Many of the croque monsieur recipes which I’ve viewed feature béchamel sauce. Béchamel sauce – sometimes known simply as white sauce – is by no means tricky to make. However, preparing a sauce before I’ve sipped my first coffee of the morning simply isn’t something I’m willing to do.
Consequently, I’ve adapted and simplified the recipe. If you’re a fan of the classic croque monsieur recipe I hope you’ll forgive me. Try this version and let me know what you think!
A tasty all-day breakfast sandwich
The croque monsieur became known in some parts of the world simply as the French sandwich.
While searching for the recipe online, I found a misspelt version under croc monsieur original.
That prompted me to dub my version of this all-day breakfast sandwich my ‘croque around the clock’. Unlike the sandwich itself, that didn’t go down at all well when I mentioned the proposed name mid-breakfast.
Because of my variation on the original recipe, perhaps this dish should be known simply as an oven-baked ham, cheese and egg sandwich? You’re welcome to leave a comment below to let me know what you think.
Easy croque monsieur recipe ingredients
My quick and easy take on the croque monsieur recipe has the following ingredients (for two people):
- 4 thick slices of wholemeal bread
- 4 eggs
- 2 slices of cooked ham
- 100 grams (4 ounces) of Old Amsterdam cheese
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons of wholegrain mustard
- Freshly ground black pepper to season
Why choose Old Amsterdam when the croque monsieur is a classic French dish? I enjoy Old Amsterdam’s depth of flavour. Alternatively, try making this dish with cheddar, Gruyère or whichever mature cheese you like most.
Method of preparing the sandwich
This recipe really is quick and easy to make.
- Heat your oven to 200°C/400°F (180°C/360°F for fan assisted ovens).
- Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a bowl large enough to dip the bread. Then crush the garlic and stir it into the egg mixture.
- Grate the cheese into a separate bowl.
- Smear a teaspoonful of wholegrain mustard onto a slice of bread. Sprinkle 25 grams (one ounce) of the grated cheese on the bread. Then add a slice of the cooked ham. Close the sandwich by adding a second slice of bread.
- Dip the sandwich in the egg mixture. Turn it over to ensure that both sides are sufficiently eggy. (Do this fairly quickly, otherwise there’s a risk that the bread will break.)
- Place the sandwich on a baking tray and sprinkle with 25 grams (one ounce) of grated cheese and a pinch of black pepper.
- Repeat the process to make a second sandwich.
- Bake for approximately 12 minutes. Remove from the baking tray using a fish splice and serve while hot.
Herby tater tots recipe
I decided to serve my all day breakfast sandwich with a side of homemade tater tots. I made them using my Ninja Foodi’s air fryer function.
My version of air fryer tater tots is easy to make.
The recipe requires:
- 3 large potatoes
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 teaspoons of chopped oregano
- Himalayan salt to season
Making tater tots is simple. All you need to do is chop the potatoes into cubes – approximately one centimetre (half-an-inch) across. There’s no need to skin them or soak them in water.
Put the potato chunks in a bowl and drizzle them with the olive oil. Mix in the oregano and season them with Himalayan salt.
Put them in the Ninja Foodi, select the air fryer mode then cook them at 200°C for 18 minutes. Remover the tater tots and serve.
The Ninja Foodi multi-cooker is available via Amazon (£):
An ideal weekend breakfast
I enjoy serving this simplified version of the croque monsieur with herby tater tots, freshly pressed orange juice and black coffee.
It’s ideal as a brunch dish or as a meal at any time of day.
Would you do anything different when making this sandwich? Please leave your suggestions below, in the comments field.
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