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Bite a gentleman! Bake a croque-monsieur !

My dear, poor, non-French people,

When is the last time you bit a gentleman?
I did it last week to tell you the truth, and always love it.
Oui oui, in France, it’s very common.
It’s so regressive…

Of course you know that  “Croque Monsieur“, a French classic ,  litteraly means “Bite a gentleman”.

This sandwich à la française can be found in any café or brasserie in Paris… And is a regular at a French and perfect home.
My mom loved to cook it on sunday nights, after a busy week-end.
The concept of “Comfort food” doesnt’t exist in France (Food is always comforting! Always has to give you pleasure at first! vraiment!) but I guess this is the closer you can get in the idea…

The Croque-monsieur you make at home is much more low-fat than the one you find when you eat out : no Béchamel!
It’s just made out of three French and perfect ingredients: pain, jambon et fromage.

(Good ) bread
(Good) ham -jambon blanc like I used in the endives au jambon recipe
(Gooooooood) Cheese.

That’s when the mimolette comes.

slice of mimolette

I’ve been talking a lot about the reasons why I think that everyone in America should be able to buy (and eat !) this great French cheese…  But it happened to me a few days ago that I haven’t be talking a lot about its taste, and how you can cook it…
Well, the thing is…. Mimolette is a great fromage.
One of our oldest, and actually one of the easiest to like.

As the great Pulitzer Prize Jonathan Gold told me when I interviewed him about it, it’s the kind of cheese you can love and appreciate since the beginning, when you’re a little kid. Look at its fun orange color! And what a cute name! Everything that ends with “ette” is dear to a French…

mimolette vieille

I’ve also  been thinking of what  another great foodlover told me: Jean François Piege, the great and famous French chef, loves the fact that there are plenty of crystal crunches in “Vieille mimolette”, the cave aged version of mimolette (and my favorite).
It’s true, and in many ways, aged mimolette can make me think of Comté, one of our best fromage.

So when I finally found a small bite of mimolette at my local cheese store “Monsieur Marcel“,  I decided to cook it the best way I could…
My last bite of mimolette in the US!!!!
It had to be grand.
And simple.
French…. and perfect!

That’s how I thought of using it in a recipe I sometimes use with Comté: Croque-monsieur.

Croque monsieur à la mimo

croque-monsieur mimolette au four

2 slices of whole wheat bread (per person)
1 slice of jambon blanc  (per person)
2 slices of mimolette  (per person)
1 tbsp moutarde
1 tbsp butter  (per person)

  • Preheat the oven (450°F)
  • Spread mustard on one side of each slice of bread, .
  • Put a slice of mimolette on the mustard
  • Add the slice of ham, jambon blanc
  • Add the last slice of mimolette
  • Cover with the other slice of bread (mustard in the sandwich)
  • Add butter on top of the bread

Put in the oven for 10 minutes, or up to when the mimolette melts.
(An aluminium foil on top is a great way to prevent” sunburnt”…)

Et voilà!

Now you can enjoy them with a green salad…
and have a big debate about why the heck these crazy French people decided to call this dish Croque-Monsieur,
or why a “bite a lady” (Croque-madame) is the same with a sunny side egg on the top…
“C’est pour faire parler les curieux”!”, my grand mother would always say when I asked her questions about things I thougt to be strange…
It’s just a way to find a talking point for curious people!

 

A bientôt les amis!

 

 

 

 

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