Would You Like To Be California Dreaming With This Croque Monsieur?


May 31, 2014 by Joanne T Ferguson

Sandwich-toasted-Croque-MonsieurWould You Like To Be California Dreaming With This Croque Monsieur?

I know I would!

Oh, I have been California Dreaming this month I was asked to host the North American California Cuisine International Food Challenge!

What a unique challenge indeed that allowed me to connect with my native country and what was exciting for me, is I have been to California many times and have been California Dreaming too!

The International Food Challenges are a joint effort of sharing passions for all world cuisines started by Sara from Sara’s Yummy Bites and Shobana from Kitchen Secrets and Snippets.

Feel free to click on their Facebook Group which announces the events and challenges each month.
For those who have been following this unique series, I have previously introduced International Food Challenge #1 Chinese Cuisine – Cantonese Region, International #Food Challenge Japan – Hokkaido Cuisine and last month’s Are You Curious About This Month’s International Food Challenge – #Persian Cuisine? to name a few.

Soup-Chinese Bread-Japan Chicken-persian-grilled
I LOVE learning all things new when it comes to food, and hope you Would You Like To Be California Dreaming With This Croque Monsieur?

As part of the challenge, recipes were provided to me to inspire our group to learn more about North American California Cuisine.

As part of my introduction, and being personally “geographically gifted” on occasion, I clarified how many continents there are confirming North America is one of the seven continents and California is located on the continent of North America.

Map                                    Image Courtesy of 9Bytz.com

Having been born and bred in the United States (New York) and having been to California many times, I shared California’s history.

Spanish missionaries arrived in California in the 1700’s, but it wasn’t until 1847 as party of the Mexican-American War treaty that California became a U.S. territory. In 1850, California became the 31st state and it the largest of the 50 states. California is a popular tourist destination with famous places such as Disneyland, Alcatraz, Hollywood, Yosemite Park and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Did you know California is called The Grape State, The El Dorado State and The Golden State to name a few?

Did you know many of the 50 states have “official foods,” “official birds,” and “official symbols?”

I also shared with the group:

While there is no “official” foods of California, Californian cuisine is based on fusion foods; from many cultures and recipes that were adapted throughout history. i.e. The California Gold Rush of 1849.

The recipes provided were:

Adapted Vegan California Sushi Roll

Adapted California Avocado Egg Rolls (Vegetarian friendly recipe)
noting: “Make it as vegetarian recipe by replacing egg roll sheets with spring roll sheets and seal it with water.”

Croque Monsieur Sandwich (French Delicacy in California) a “Californian Parisian café classic!” as I called it!

For a vegetarian option, Zucchini Croque Madamemoiselle recipe was provided.

California Pizza Kitchen BBQ Pizza Copycat (Vegetarian Friendly) recipe round out the options for this month’s North American California Cuisine.

My name is Joanne aka Joanna aka mickeydownunder aka FANG and I have a confession!

I have never made Croque Monsieur at home before as to me, it is someone one enjoys in their favorite café!

For those who may not be familiar with Croque Monsieur, it is a frilled ham and cheese sandwich usually made with Gruyère cheese; today I combine what I had on hand, Gruyère and Grana Padano. (a semi-aged hard Italian cheese)

I really loved the “ease and simplicity” in recreating this recipe using Grey Poupon dijon mustard with contains a little white wine.

I LOVED the final result as did Chef Georgio who could wait (once again!) to be my taste tester.

Two thumbs up from Chef Georgio and he asked if I could make it again tomorrow!

Not only did I host this month’s challenge, but I felt proud of myself as Croque Monsieur was a dish that has been on my list and now I know I too can make it at home and can’t wait to make it for friends….oh, and Chef Georgio too!

Have you ever had Croque Monsieur at your favorite café?

Have you ever made Croque Monsieur at home?

Of the recipes provided, which one would you have chosen and why?

You have my curiosity today!

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33 thoughts on “Would You Like To Be California Dreaming With This Croque Monsieur?

  1. DROOLING! This looks amazing!!!

  2. Katerina says:

    Seriously drooling here!

  3. auntbeesrecipes says:

    Oh Joanne! This looks FAB! I NEED one of these sandwiches RIGHT NOW!!!!

    • Thanks Brandi for your lovely comments that always brighten my day! I just re-looked at the photo and decided I could go for one of these right now too! Thank you for continuing to inspire me!

  4. I love this sandwich! I have pinned and will share tomorrow. Fabulous photography.

  5. I’ve heard of Croque-Monsieur but never knew what it is. Oh. My. Goodness. This should be classified as DD. Dangerously Delicious. Wow. I love the association of this post with the Mamas and the Papas, I grew up adoring Mama Cass, in particular and can still recall when I found out she had passed away. At the time (I was pretty young) I was told she had chocked on a ham sandwich. I hope it wasn’t a Croque-Monsieur! Either way, I loved her and I love this recipe. Excellent post!

  6. errenskitchen says:

    Wow, this looks fantastic! Great photos!

  7. I have never had this before – but it sounds super delish!! Pinning to try! 🙂

  8. Adrienne says:

    I had to hit this post Joanne, that is a delicious looking sandwich now. OMG, mouth watering and I do love melted cheese. The way I really like to eat ham is in a sandwich, for some reason it’s just so much better then all by itself.

    I’m not a cook as you know but I can cook. I just never enjoyed it because I cooked for one but with my Mom next door now and we do like to try new things this one is getting added to our list.

    Thank you for sharing and I loved the California history too!


  9. Joanne, this looks just wonderful! Yum…all that cheesy goodness is making me hungry. And yes, the song is stuck in my head—but I am not mad:) It’s a great one! Have a wonderful day!

  10. Joanne, the Croque Monsieur looks awesome ….yummylicious

  11. Joy @ Yesterfood says:

    YES, I would LOVE To Be California Dreaming With This Croque Monsieur! I read your post while listening to the Mamas and the Papas- what a great way to start a Sunday morning! I am glad to know about The International Food Challenges!

  12. Thank you so much Joanne for hosting and introducing me to this group. Loved your choice in the world and your Croque Monsieur looks sinful and gooey 🙂 The best Croque Monsieur I ever had was actually in Paris. I bought it in a small bakery and ate it in the courtyard behind the Louvres. It was to die for.

  13. theninjabaker says:

    Thank you, Joanne, for taking the intimidation out of the fancy sounding Croque Monsieur…Yours does look especially cheesilicious!

  14. Joanne, I love the performance by the Mamas and the Pappas. I thought this clip looked just like the show ‘Hullabaloo’ from the 60’s and sure enough, the name is written on the shirts of the dancers. What a strange juxtaposition of having the dancers doing the Frug, etc while the group sings in the background! Anyway, I’ve had the Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame many times in Paris, can’t believe that California is laying claim to this dish! Your food indeed looks delicious!

  15. Nancy Fox says:

    I was born and raised in California ad still live there. Your dish looks delicious!

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Joanne T. Ferguson

Passionate Home Cook who tries to inspire one recipe and one event at time!


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