Updated: Jul 19, 2022
A croque monsieur is a very traditional French sandwich of ham and cheese. It was invented in 1910 in a small cafe in Paris and has become a staple in most French cafes today. The term literally means "crunch mister". The simple sandwich is traditionally sourdough bread with a slice of ham and some Gruyère cheese. In some versions, the sandwich is topped with Béchamel sauce for a creamier texture. The sandwich has undergone many transformations including this very upscale version made in a crêpe and topped with a horseradish mustard sauce.
Most folks associate crêpes with the traditional sweet breakfast version. However, there is a world of savory crêpes that I think are more creative and packed with flavor. I am putting up this recipe and a few more on this blog soon.
For this recipe I made the crêpes, but you are welcome to purchase them ready made. Be aware that most ready made crêpes are made as a breakfast crêpe so will be a bit sweeter. This crêpe recipe is perfect for those who love the traditional sandwich. The light and crisp crepe is packed with melted cheese and ham. It is also topped with a gooey horseradish mustard sauce that adds that perfect pop of spice and flavor. I could eat a dozen of these crêpes, watch out they are addictive.
This is a fabulous cookbook from a wonderful chef from some of Napa Valleys most renowned restaurants. Cindy's recipes are extraordinary. she brings unique flavors from around the world to your table in her cookbooks. I do have most of her cookbooks, and I love to cook from them.
For more recipes from this fabulous cookbook, click here.
For the crêpes (makes 12-15):
1/3 cup corn flour
2/3 cup all-purpose flour (maida)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups
1 1/2 cups whole or skimmed milk
1 tablespoon butter
For the horseradish mustard cream
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1-2 tablespoons horseradish
4-5 slices cooked ham of your choice
1/2 -3-4 cups grated Gruyère cheese
Chives or parsley, minced, for garnish
To make the crêpe batter, mix all the ingredients together and whip well with a whisk. Make sure the batter is smooth, do not leave any lumps. Allow the batter to sit on the countertop for 1 hour.
To make the crêpes, heat a non-stick pan on medium flame. Brush lightly with butter. Pour 1/4 cup, or less for a smaller crêpe, of the batter into the hot pan in the center and swirl the pan around to cover the bottom of the pan with the batter. Swirl slowly to get an even thin layer without holes. Cook or about 1-1 1/2 minutes at which time the bottom and edges will be lightly golden and the edges will release from the pan surface. Flip and cook for an additional minute. Remove on paper towels, layering a paper towel between each crêpe so they do not stick to each other. The crêpes can be made ahead and kept sealed in a Tupperware container or wrapped with cling wrap so they do not dry out and get brittle.
To make the horseradish mustard cream, add the ingredients and mix well together. Keep in the fridge till needed.
Heat the oven to 350 F.
To heat the crêpes you will need oven safe plates (best) or a large baking tray lined with parchment paper. To assemble the crêpes, lay a crêpe on the plate open and add a slice of ham trimming it to fit on half a crêpe. Grate some of the cheese on top and fold in half. Assemble as many crêpes that will fit loosely, do not crowd. Add a generous layer of the horseradish mustard cream and smooth over the entire crêpe. Add some more grated cheese on top.
Bake the crêpe for 12-15 minutes till the cream and cheese has melted and the edges and top are lightly browned.
Remove, garnish with pepper, chives or parsley and serve immediately.