A Croque Monsieur, or Mr Crunch, is the king of sandwiches, not to be confused with the "Croque Madame" which comes topped with a fried egg.
The decadent crunchy, gooey, heavenly ham and cheese French sandwich born in Parisian cafes is often billed as a quick cafe snack, but it's oh so much more than that!
In our "Michelin chefs cook" we put the spotlight on simple, everyday ingredients or recipes by exploring them through the lens of Michelin starred chefs.
A Croque Monsieur is usually made with bread, ham and cheese and sometimes bechamel, but in the hands of chefs like Dominique Crenn and Eric Ripert they can reach a whole new level! Think shavings of black truffle, onion marmalade, salmon, and that's just the beginning ... Watch them at work in the clips below.
Michelin Chefs Cook Croque Monsieur
The US's three Michelin star chef from Atelier Crenn in San Francisco has set her Instagram account on fire with her recent post for Croque Monsieur; Two slices of bread spread with wholegrain mustard, a layer of caramelised onion, a slice of cheese and shavings of black truffle, sandwiched together and fried in butter until brown and crispy on the outside.
The French chef from US's Le Bernadin shares his recipe for the "best Croque monsieur" - a seafood version with smoked salmon, swiss cheese and lemon confit and lashings of caviar.
Ripert's top tips include making sure the entire surface is covered with filling before sandwiching the bread together and buttering the outside of the sandwich to ensure there's not an excess of butter in the pan easily yielding that sought after crunch texture and rich golden brown colour.
The British chef from Marcus in London's Knightsbridge anglicises the French dish by slipping in some secret British ingredients like Worcestershire sauce. Wareing also takes a different cooking tactic by frying the filled sandwich in a generous pan of melted butter before finishing off in a pre-heated oven.
While it isn't the legendary French chef himself cooking in the clip .. this is apparently his recipe, plus it's in French, which adds to the authenticity! here are the essentials:
Emmenthal and grated parmesan are mixed together with creme fraiche until they become a paste - some freshly ground black pepper is added follwed by an egg yolk.
To assemble - butter the first slice of bread, add a slice of ham, cover with slices of Emmenthal, another slice of ham and more slices of cheese.
Cover the other slice of bread with a layer of the cream and cheese mixture.
Sandwich the two slices together - spread the remaining cream and cheese mix on top of the sandwich.
Grill for 2 minutes on medium.
The French chef from Trois Mec in New York, has a soft spot for the king of sandwiches going for a rustic, generous version of the Croque monsieur. Using real french country bread (this one of the most important ingredients according to the French man), sliced an inch thick, parmesan, Gruyere, Parisian ham and a secret bechamel sauce. The result - an irresistible crispy, most and cheesy sandwich!