To know croque madame, we must look at history. The year is 1910. The working class is being formed and strengthened. Lunch in the big cities and the time spent on it are taking on new forms. In Slovenia, this meal still retains its tradition, but in London, for example, they most often treat themselves to a pie or a cold sandwich. In Paris, they are more sophisticated, even though it is a meal we have enough time just to eat. On the famous never-sleeping city street, Boulevard des Capucines, cafés serve croque monsieur for the first time: a crunchy sandwich with bacon and cheese that offers the comfort of something warm at an affordable price.
Let it smell from the screen…
First a gentleman, then a lady
Croque monsieur in translation means Mr. Croque and is in fact the starting point for creating the version to which we dedicate the recipe. Let’s stay for a while, which is not really known, but as always the story of the origin of the dish is circulating. He says the French worker forgot the sandwich at home on the stove, but when he returned, he discovered that the cheese had melted and that the snack had become very good.
But as you notice strangely William Sitwell in the book History of Food in 100 Recipes, the preparation process was first written by the Belgians, respectively unknown or unknown. E. Defock. To whom the sandwich is, we will not answer, but the fact is that it is an extremely popular dish, which today is prepared mainly by cutting slices of toasted white bread coated with butter, covered with bacon, grated cheese and bechamel, which also paint the top layer and bake everything together. If this is not a deserved sin for lunch, that is unmatched! And no matter how ordinary it may sound, the flavors of the quality ingredients that come together throughout their dissolution and soaking are simply fantastic.
The gentleman was joined a few years later by a crunchy or croque madame lady. The sandwich was covered with an egg representing a woman’s hat. The imagination of the kitchen is ignited and various derivatives appear on the menu: Provençal croque with tomatoes, vegetables and easily made croem mademoiselle … At the same time, we get excited and imagine our tastes, because we think it is a great opportunity to bent in this way. a quick lunch in these crazy days when we are crowded at home and with all the family responsibilities we just run out of time to cook. Or treat yourself to a long Saturday or Sunday morning this way.
We also recommend: Divine chocolate cake with one ingredient for sweetening with a less bad conscience
Yogurt instead of bechamel
With a pinch of creativity, we handle celebrity goodies more easily. We will not cook bechamel, to which the French add Dijon mustard for this occasion, but we will use sour cream, enrich it with egg yolk, nutmeg or walnuts and we will definitely not miss the mustard.
Since the dish is very filling, we chose the so-called open sandwich, so each eater gets only one slice of bread and also tested how the different fillings work. They are all great, but the chicory and nut version really stands out. In fact, from now on, this will be our favorite variation, which would surely satisfy even the one who prepared everything first a long time ago.
For 4 people.
- 300 gr minced cheese (ideally minced)
- 100 gr minced parmesan
- a pot of sour cream
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 2 egg yolks
- Ç teaspoon nutmeg or nutmeg
- spoons of mustard
- 2 slices of baked bacon
- 3 chicory leaves and grated walnuts
- canned mackerel fillets
- a handful of spinach
- 4 slices of bread
- 4 eggs
1. Turn the oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
In a bowl, mix yogurt, egg yolk, milk, mustard and nutmeg. Add the two cheeses and mix.
3. Chop the bacon, chicory, nuts, grate the mackerel and the spinach may remain on the leaves.
Coat each piece of bread with butter and place in the pan so that the butter is on the bottom, as the bread will be very crunchy.
5. Then the pieces of bread are smeared evenly with the cheese mixture and each has its own filling. Pepper to taste.
6. Put in the oven and bake for about 8 minutes so that the cheese melts well and mixes, then turn on the grill with ventilation and bake for another 3 minutes or until the cheese turns brown in separate pieces.
7. Fry the eggs.
8. When the breads are ready, take them out of the oven, coat them with eggs and serve them as warm as possible. This is the only way to truly enjoy the richness of this dish.
Tip: If for lunch you are going to enjoy yourself with a madame croque, serve like me with a salad enriched with good olive oil and a little special vinegar.
Photo and video: Sonja Ravbar