Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin. All eating, all the time. The movie “It’s Complicated” is now Tivo-able. It’s the kind of chick flick I love because, besides hilarious middle-age angst, there’s a lot of great looking real food. Did you ask, “what’s that cheesy thing Meryl served Steve” (which then made Alec swoon)? They said it several times — Croque Monsieur. (say it this way: crock ma-seur)
The Croque Monsieur — sexy without trying. French. Rustic but elegant. Something you’d make to wow the guy without the guy noticing what was really happening. A salad of tender spring greens and he’s all yours. Steve and Alec both were goners.
You can see why men would like the Croque Monsieur. Just a sandwich. Ham. Tomato. Cheese. Open faced and roasted at a high oven temperature. Or not open faced, I’ve seen it with two slices of bread, too. Use quality ingredients or you’ll question why it’s such a big deal. Steve added a little Dijon mustard to his, but not necessary.
Larry did not add the mustard to his sandwich and was giving me sexy looks while eating. No wait, he was giving the sandwich sexy looks.
The movie sandwich is smothered in cheese and you cannot see the other ingredients. I lightened that version up a bit with thinner bread, thicker tomato slices and less cheese on top.
UPDATE TO THIS POST — a recent trip to Paris provided this discovery. The Croque Monsieurs I saw everywhere were square and MUCH smaller than my American version:
Croque Monsieur – slightly lighter version than the movie
- 2 slices hearty peasant bread, approximately 1/2 inch thick
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 to 4 slices Black forest ham
- 1 heirloom tomato, sliced
- 1/2 cup shredded gruyere cheese (however, I used Kerrygold Vintage Cheddar this time)
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. On a cookie sheet prepared with non-stick spray, place the bread slices and brush lightly with olive oil. Turn over and spread with mayonnaise all the way to the edges. Top with the ham slices, then two slices of tomato. Add the shredded cheese on top and spread evenly. Bake until cheese is melted and golden brown, approx. 15 minutes.
NOTE: allow to cool to “warm” – if hot, you not only burn your mouth, but all the ingredients slide off. Makes 2 servings.