Croques Monsieurs

by Jenn on July 24, 2010

in Gluten Free,Meats,Photography

Bonjour de Paris!

PAG_0665paris PAG_0595paris

So, in case you haven’t talked to me in a while, I recently found a new love in life.  It’s called Paris, and is this city in France.   And what perfect timing, for this month’s GAHIGF theme is all about French cuisine!  We decided to go to Paris one weekend because one of my blogging friends, Lauren of Celiac Teen, was on holiday with her family, and so our little trip was also a great way to finally meet in person!  My husband and I had so much fun hanging out for the day, and we got to see a lot of the beautiful sights around the city.  Ha maybe too much for a day, but it was perfect.


I can’t possibly just cut this down to a couple pictures, so you are going to have to come along for the ride that was our amazing day in Paris!  Here are some adventures to maybe the three most iconic features of the city – to see the rest of the trip I’ve got a set in my flickr devoted to France.

1. The Louvre.  We stayed by the Louvre, and visited at night, early morning, during the day, and then breakfast the next day.  I just love the beauty and grandeur of this palace, I think more than the museum exhibits!  As we walked around the grounds and inside, I just imagined what it would have been like to actually live here when it was a functioning home…and then realized that I cannot even fathom that type of wealth.  I wonder if you could talk to these walls what they would say…

Louvre, Paris Louvre, Paris

And in case you do go to see such exhibits as the Mona Lisa or Venus de Milo, I challenge you to find the other exciting exhibit – the insane crowd of people doing everything they can to get a picture of the famous art!  Below is a great reason why we should come back in say, January instead of July:


But on a Sunday morning, it’s quite pleasant to sit outside, park yourself on a bench, and enjoy a crèpe filled with 4 different kinds of cheese and get to call it breakfast :)

2. Notre Dame.  I would never have fully appreciated the absolute architectural masterpiece that this is without reading Ken Follet’s novels, Pillars of the Earth and World Without End.  Because of those two books, besides just being great novels, I know more about the technology, skills, and challenges of medieval cathedral building that I ever thought possible.  I walked in, and just stood in awe, staring around me like a wide-eyed child who looked up and noticed the stars for the first time.

Notre Dame, Paris PAG_0542_0_1_tonemapped2

Just after the morning mass, the cathedral still feels like a church rather than a historic monument.  Very few people, all is silent, and there are just no words to describe the glowing light pouring through the stained glass.  For being such a large stone building, there is so much light, bouncing around all the walls and the bricks, especially on the ceiling.


3. Tour Eiffel.  No trip to Paris is complete without a trip to the Tour Eiffel.  It’s quite impressive standing right underneath it, as it literally does tower over the rest of the city and is just about visible from anywhere.  I did not get a chance to climb up yet, but next time!

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Ok, so I know you didn’t really come to this post to see pictures of Paris, you came for some food!  We all had lunch together at this bistro not far from the Tour Eiffel, and some of us glutenicious folk ordered a very traditional French plat, the croque monsieur (i.e. fried ham & cheese sandwich).  I thought it’d be quite fitting for this month’s gluten free theme, don’t you? :)

I’ll tell you a secret though.  I cheated.  I used pre-made gluten free baguettes.  And know what? They were perfect.  Parfait!  Ryan couldn’t order one of these last weekend, but he could enjoy one today thanks to this great natural foods store that we found which carries all sorts of great gluten free products and baking ingredients!  The monsieur refers to the traditional sandwich I mentioned above, and an alternative madame includes an egg and some béchemel.  On a side note, I love how people use messieurs-dames to address a group.  It’s really quite efficient.  Rather than saying “Good evening sir, and good evening madam,” you can instead say “Good evening sirs-madams.”  Just as proper, and très French.  Some things about the French language are just genius that way.  Others, less so.  For example, ventilateur seems like an awful lot of syllables to spit out, when in English the one syllable “fan” will suffice.

These croques monsieurs et croques madames are super easy.  Super customizable.  Super French. Ils étaient parfait pour le weekend après notre voyage à Paris!

Also submitted to: Gluten Free Wednesdays

Croque Monsieur


Ingredients (4 open-face sandwiches):
2 mini GF baguettes, sliced in half longways
2 tbs. butter, softened
2 tbs. dijon mustard
4 oz. thinly sliced cured ham
4 oz. gruyère cheese, grated
fresh thyme and tarragon
ground black pepper
For croque madame:
4 fried eggs, sunny-side up
4 tbs. béchemel sauce

1. Turn on broiler in your oven.  Butter each baguette half and broil until toasted to your liking (just a couple minutes max.).  Remove from oven and let cool.
2. Spread mustard on each bread half, then place ham and then grated cheese on top.  Add herbs and pepper, and broil again until cheese is melted and just browning.  Enjoy!
3. For croque madame, top a fried egg onto each croque monsieur sandwich, and garnish with the béchemel.  Indulge!



Patty Price July 24, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Beautiful photos of my favorite city! I’ve never made a croque monsieur or madame but they sure are good to eat when in Paris and I like the idea of making them at home the next weekend to recreate a great memory of Paris.

Jenn July 24, 2010 at 9:25 pm

Thank you! They were quite easy to make, and a tasty way to remember our trip!

Debbie July 24, 2010 at 6:28 pm

Your pics are amazing and the Croques Monsieurs looks yummy! I have always wanted to make one to try so thanks!

Jenn July 24, 2010 at 9:26 pm

Thanks! Yes you should try!

Lauren July 24, 2010 at 6:41 pm

My brother and dad ate one of these almost every day for lunch in Paris! What a perfect way to remember that day. I loved seeing you as well as Paris – I don’t think it is possible to see more than we did that day! We’ll have to do it again sometime :).

Jenn July 24, 2010 at 9:28 pm

haha, awesome! I definitely don’t think it is possible to see more than we did, it was nuts! But nuts in an incredibly awesome sort of way :) We will def. have to do again sometime, maybe next time on your side of the world in Canada!

Valerie @ City|Life|Eats July 24, 2010 at 7:00 pm

So glad you enjoyed Paris so much :)Quick question for you – what is the natural foods store that you mentioned – is it in Paris or in Suisse? I’m asking because I am going back to Suisse to visit at some point this year and would love to pickup some GF baguettes to enjoy while I am there.

Jenn July 24, 2010 at 9:26 pm

The store we found is in Suisse, sent you an email :)

Rosa July 24, 2010 at 7:03 pm

Amazing shots and lovely Croques Monsieurs! i love that snack.



Jenn July 24, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Thanks Rosa!

Cook with Madin July 24, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Lovely post, great photos and awesome Croque MOnsieur.

Jenn July 24, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it!

Magic of Spice July 24, 2010 at 8:48 pm

What and wonderful time and photos…Love the recipe looks amazing:)

Jenn July 24, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Thanks so much!

Chef Dennis July 25, 2010 at 4:56 am

Paris is my favorite city in the whole world….sigh….how I miss Paris! and croque Monsieurs…..but most of all the pastries!!
did you see winged victory in the Louvre? my wifes favorite!

Jenn July 25, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Oh I made sure to enjoy my share of pastries – croissants melted in my mouth with buttery goodness! Yes we did see it, right on the way to the Mona Lisa!

Stella July 25, 2010 at 5:46 am

I just commented on another blog saying their sandwich reminded me of my favorite, which is a croque monsieur. Yum! Buzzed…

Jenn July 25, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Thanks! Hope you enjoy!

penny aka jeroxie July 25, 2010 at 12:00 pm

So beautiful. It is one of the cities that I will like to visit. Missed out the last time I was travelling Europe.

Jenn July 25, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Yes, you will just have to come back to Europe and see it! What cities did you go to see?

Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite July 25, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Absolutely stunning pictures Jenn – and I DID come to see pics of Paris!!! But love the gluten free croques!!!

Jenn July 25, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Thanks Mardi!! Ha, glad you enjoyed them!

Melanie July 26, 2010 at 12:22 am

Your photography is JUST STUNNING.

Jenn July 26, 2010 at 7:07 am

Thank you!

Joy July 26, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Gorgeous pictures. It is great you were able to get away even for a weekend.

Jenn July 26, 2010 at 11:46 pm

Thank you Joy! Yes, it’s one of the great things about living so close to everything!!

Kocinera July 26, 2010 at 10:04 pm

These pictures are so beautiful! Plus, that Croque Monsieur looks amazingly yummy!

Jenn July 26, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Thank you !!

gaby July 26, 2010 at 10:05 pm

que rico buenas texturas y color

Jenn July 26, 2010 at 11:49 pm


Priscilla - She's Cookin' July 27, 2010 at 12:47 am

Beautiful post! I’m hoping to be spending some time in Paris soon – my husband’s company opened an office there :)
I love Croque Monsieur and your open faced version looks delicious!

Jenn July 29, 2010 at 7:15 am

Oh fun! Enjoy it, it’s a marvelous enchanting city!

Vintage Sugarcube July 27, 2010 at 6:31 am

OH MY! That sandwich looks sooooo amazing! I’m buying ham and gruyere my next trip to the market. Awesome story too! Really enjoyed reading about your trip. Congrats on the top 9. Much deserved!!!

Jenn July 29, 2010 at 7:17 am

Thank you! I hope you enjoy them!

Brian @ A Thought For Food July 27, 2010 at 11:24 pm

This post made my heart ache! I’m dying to go back to Paris… I would kill for a fresh baguette, some cheese, a bottle of wine… some chocolate croissants. I can just keep going…

As I don’t eat ham, I’m wondering if salmon would work on this. A nice piece of cured salmon? I think I’ll have to try it.

Jenn July 29, 2010 at 7:19 am

It’s an interesting idea, I haven’t tried it but sounds like a potentially tasty experiment!

Celiacs in the House July 28, 2010 at 3:14 pm

I still remember eating thinly sliced ham with French butter on baguettes in the streets of Paris in 1977. Haven’t made it back yet and the closest I’ll get to the Eiffel Tower is the fake at King’s Island next week. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pics and your visit with Lauren. I’ll ride to the top of the tower and gaze at the view of Cincinnati and dream of Paris. :)

Jenn July 29, 2010 at 7:21 am

Ha I forgot there is an Eiffel Tower there! Have fun and enjoy the rides!

Shree July 28, 2010 at 7:20 pm

aahh I just am in love with these ridiculously rich sandwiches. Love croque monsieurs et madames. Btw beautiful pictures of the church.

Jenn July 29, 2010 at 7:27 am


Linda July 29, 2010 at 5:33 am

It seems that lots of gluten free bloggers are meeting up this summer. What a great place for the two of you to meet. Your corques monsieurs looks great.

Jenn July 29, 2010 at 7:28 am

yes it does!! oh we had such a great day together, Lauren seriously rocks!!

Chelsey July 31, 2010 at 8:22 pm

In my glutenous days I used to make a variation of this sandwich every day. I guess I shouldn’t let my favorite snack die with my loss of bread. I’ll have to make your recipe asap. Now if I can just find some deliciious gf baguettes.

How cool to meet up with Lauren in Paris!!!! Your pictures are beautiful.

Jenn August 3, 2010 at 9:43 am

Thanks! Yes it was an incredibly awesome experience!

gfe--gluten free easily August 2, 2010 at 11:00 pm

Finally coming to see this post! I love that you and Lauren got together. Just love it! And, Jenn, your photos as always take my breath away. They make me want to fly to Paris right now. Seriously.

Oh, and the croque monsieurs–ils sont fantastiques. I’ve had the pre-made gluten-free baguettes before. My friend make heavenly bruschetta with them. :-)


Jenn August 3, 2010 at 9:44 am

Thank you Shirley, and thanks for the lovely comments on your blog as well! Oh bruschetta sounds like such a great idea for GF baguettes! Ok I’m totally doing that this weekend, what a perfect summer app!

jenjenk August 28, 2011 at 9:22 pm

beautiful photos!! Just love that you also had photos from notre dame -it is my favorite place that i *have* to visit when i’m in paris!

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