Monday, June 10, 2024

Croque Monsieur

 As I do most weekends, I popped out to Blarney and Barney's today for a cup of tea this afternoon. On arrival, I found Blarney in the kitchen helping Chance, one of the twins, do a school project for Food Science. He wanted to make a Croque Monsieur

First of all, what is Food Science? What happened to cooking, or home economics as subjects, and when do you, as a year eight student make something as poncy as Croque Monsieur? Why not make a grilled cheese sandwich and be done with it. 

I have to admit that I love Croque Monsieur. I love the bechamel, mixed in with the Swiss and Gruyere, with the ham and Dijon mustard, which is then baked, then grilled. And unlike the Croque Madame, it doesn't have a fried egg on top of it. 

Croque Monsieur is a favourite thing of mine. 

Photo thanks to

The again, I grew up a child of the seventies with something called Cheese Osh-Mi-Gosh, which was really just cheese sauce on toast. And Cheese Savouries, also known as Savoury Toast, which I have long, involved discussions about the addition of tomato sauce and whether the bacon goes on top or is put in the mixture, and how much is too much Worcestershire Sauce. (There is never too much Worcestershire Sauce). We also won't tell any god-fearing Tasmanian that the really just a bastardisation of Wesh Rarebit

Call me a cheese on toast fiend. I'll own it. 

Regardless, I watched as Chance turned his hand, under Blarney's make the bechamel. For a first effort it was excellent. I hate making anything like that - too much stirring.

Then they assembled the sandwich, spreading over the bechamel, then some Swiss Cheese, some ham, some Dijon mustard, which was found at the back of the fridge where all good mustards go to die, then the gruyere. The sandwich is then buttered, a grated cheddar and parmesan mix is sprinkled on top, and the whole thing is then baked for a few minutes before being put under the griller for a few minutes. 

To me this is bliss. 

To Blarney and Chance, it's not worth eating because there is mustard in it. 

"Are you going to at least try it?" I asked. 

"Suppose so."

"But it's one of my favourite things. How could you not love Croque Monsieur?"

"Mustard. Disgusting."

"Well why did you put it in? You can leave it out. And Dijon mustard is the mildest of all mustards. It just gives a bit of tang." I will say that being of Cornish stock, mustard, pickles and any sort of tangy condiment is just up my alley. 

Blarney and I have polar opposite palates. It's okay. 

Regardless, I was very happy. Both Blarney, Barney and Chance tried a bit of the Croque Monsieur and I got the rest. 

I left happy, signing off on Chance's Food Science assignment saying that his version was better than he ones you get at Patisserie Laurent.  Blarney said it would have been even better with ham off the bone. I reckon what he put up was ten out of ten.

It made for a good public holiday. 

When the family come back from their holidays, I think I might have to go over and cook them dinner to say thanks. 

Today's song: 

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