The Simply Luxurious Life®: It’s Not That Complicated  

July 30, 2010

It’s Not That Complicated

When it comes to films, I am drawn to exquisite fashion, fabulous houses and food.  There are not many DVDs in my library, but if one of the three items listed above are involved, my attention is captured.  So it was the case when I went to the theater this past winter to enjoy Meryl Streep in It’s Complicated directed by Nancy Meyers.

Since then I have purchased it and watched it a few more times. Each time I am curious about the tasty delight she seems to quickly whip up in the kitchen for Steve Martin’s character in the scene shown in the above photo.  After reminding myself that it was only a Google search away, I discovered a delicious recipe for Croque Monsieur.

Don’t be fooled if someone states that it is similar to a Monte Cristo sandwich.  It is more than just a touch better.  It may take a bit more time, but it is still quite simple to make.

Complement it with a glass of chardonnay, pinot gris, or viognier and toss a salad of mixed greens or arugula with a dressing of extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, topped with freshly grated parmesan and pine nuts,  and you will have an impressive, yet simple meal.

Key Things to Keep in Mind:

*Waiting for the sauce to thicken (stirring constantly) will take about 10-12 minutes – have patience.  It’s worth it.  Delicious!

*You’ll notice in my photo that I didn’t take the crusts off.  However, it was still scrumptious.  Either way is up to you.  I will be taking my crusts off next time just to see the difference.

Croque Monsieur (courtesy of Barefoot Contessa)


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups hot milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 12 ounces Gruyere, grated (5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 16 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
  • Dijon mustard
  • 8 ounces baked Virginia ham, sliced but not paper thin


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere, and the Parmesan and set aside.

3. To toast the bread, place the slices on 2 baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes, until toasted.

4. Lightly brush half the toasted breads with mustard, add a slice of ham to each, and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyere. Top with another piece of toasted bread. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned. Serve hot.

Bon appétit!

Images: (1) The Katy Capsule (2) Simply Luxurious

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At July 30, 2010 at 10:03 AM , Blogger Café Bellini said...

I love croque monsieur, especially because gruyere is one of my favourites and parmesan, well, you know already! I will have to watch this film! Have a wonderful weekend!

At July 30, 2010 at 10:30 AM , Blogger Erika ~TiptoeButterfly~ said...

i wanna make that too! - i saw the movie - and totally fell for it!

At July 30, 2010 at 10:39 AM , Blogger Kiki said...

Happy Friday and that looks devine!!


At July 30, 2010 at 10:47 AM , Blogger THE ALTERNATIVE WIFE said...

Oh I love croque monsieur! The best one I ever had was at some cafe on the Champs Elysee a few years ago. I haven't been able to find a good one stateside though. Now this recipe sounds amazing! Going to give it a shot on Sunday :)

And I'll have to see that movie now based on your review.

At July 30, 2010 at 11:36 AM , Blogger Shannon said...

Oh, that looks good! I haven't made that in quite awhile. I will have to try it again. Cute movie!

At July 30, 2010 at 12:02 PM , Anonymous Marzz said...

When my daughter and I were in Paris 2 summers ago, our favorite meal by far was the Croque Monsieur at Le Vieux Colombier (can't remember the full name but it was on the 6th arrondisement and just by a metro stop). Ina's recipe is, as usual, the best.

Love your blog. You seem to always post what I seem to need for the day. Today was no exception. Thank you!

At July 30, 2010 at 3:01 PM , Blogger A Casa da Vá said...

I love that movie, I watched by myself cause I knew would not be my bf's favorite, but she made me inspired to cook!

At July 30, 2010 at 3:30 PM , Blogger Asta said...

Thanks for reminding me about the movie, have been planning to watch it for a while now but kept forgetting:) The croque monsieur looks delicious, will definitely try to make it, ASAP:)

At July 30, 2010 at 3:33 PM , Blogger Zabrinah said...

This wonderful! You did a great job in recreating the meal from the movie.

I too, have forgotten that this movie is on my list of things to see!


Best wishes,


At July 30, 2010 at 5:30 PM , Blogger AB HOME Interiors said...

I have to agree. I fell in love with this movie. The kittchen, the food, and the film wasn't bad either! haha I can't wait to try this recipe, thank you for sharing!

At July 30, 2010 at 9:13 PM , Blogger janelle said...

LOVED THE MOVIE! I just loved it! Have a great weekend!!

At July 30, 2010 at 11:42 PM , Blogger Apt. #34 said...

we almost watched this movie tonight but went with Up in the Air instead (fantasitc I must say) but this one is next on my list! Especially now that i know there's such great eye candy and food. Hope you have a fab weekend.

At April 9, 2011 at 9:39 AM , Blogger Peaches said...

This was amazing I've already made it 4 times! Thanks so much


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