David Scott AllenLunchtime MealsProvencal RecipesTaste: Food & Drink

Classic Bistro Sandwich Croque Monsieur and Madame

This is a classic French bistro dish and a favourite of David’s, an old recipe dating to the early years of the twentieth century. Perhaps Proust had a Croque Monsieur before he nibbled that now-legendary madeleine. David tends to order this flavourful sandwich whenever he sees it on a menu.

Croque Monsieur Madame @DavidScottAllen

Croque Monsieur and Madame

Croque Monsieur is a classic bistro cafè style french sandwich (think sophisticated ham and cheese) best served on Pain de Mie or any Brioche-like bread with ham, Gruyère cheese and Béchamel sauce and traditionally baked in the oven. Add a poached or sunny side up egg and it becomes the Croque Madame.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Lunch Dish, Main Dish
Cuisine French
Servings 4 people


  • 3 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 3 tablespoon Flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • To taste Salt and Pepper
  • A pinch of Nutmeg freshly-grated
  • A couple dabs Softened butter for spreading
  • 8 slices Pain de Mie *recipe link below
  • 2 tablespoons Dijion Mustard
  • 4 1/4 ounce Baked Ham
  • 2 1/2 cups Gruyère cheese grated
  • 4 Eggs optional


  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  • Add all the milk at once, and whisk constantly until very thick. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Set aside.
  • Spread 4 slices of pain de mie each with 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard, then sprinkle each with 1/2 cup of grated Gruyère cheese, and top with a slice of ham.
  • Place the remaining slices of pain de mie on top. Butter tops and bottoms of the sandwich and cook slowly on a flat griddle until lightly golden on both sides.
  • Preheat the broiler, and place rack 4-5 inches from the heat. Place sandwiches on a cookie sheet – or in gratin dishes for serving - and spoon about 1/2 cup of the béchamel sauce on top of each sandwich, letting it run down the sides.
  • Sprinkle the 4 sandwiches with the remaining 1/2 cup Gruyère cheese.
  • Slide the sandwiches under the broiler and remove when golden brown on top. Serve immediately. Steamed asparagus or a salad makes a nice side.


Not surprisingly our chef David makes his own Cocoa and Lavender Pain de Mie - click here for the recipe.
To make a Croque Madame, simply top the sandwich with a sunny-side-up fried egg.
Croque Monsieur @DavidScottAllen
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David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen is the author, photographer, and cook behind Cocoa & Lavender, a weekly food blog based in Tucson, Arizona. Passionate about travel, he especially enjoys eating traditional foods and learning local customs, whether in the United States or around the globe.

David's first trip to France took place when he was 14, and he returned as often as possible thereafter. However, it wasn't until his 50th birthday that he finally made it south to Provence. The beauty, history, charm, warmth, cuisine, and - of course - the rosé wines captured his heart. He shares his Provençal recipes here on Perfectly Provence, and his food and wine pairings monthly on the Provence WineZine.

David is a firm believer that sharing a meal with friends around the table is one of life's greatest pleasures. And if it happens to be in Provence, all the better!

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