The croque monsieur parallels the ubiquitous beet salad as the Parisian constant on any bistro menu. On our last trip to Paris, with every menu constantly reminding of this little gooey deliciousness, I was inspired to make my own iteration. The herbes de provence absolutely makes this dish. Essential. Like ketchup is to french fries. It brings out the smokiness in the ham, and highlights the sharp creaminess of the alpine cheese. There are about seven gazillion recipes for this sandwich on the internet, so I won’t bore you with another. But PLEASE, put herbes de provence on whichever you select. And make extra bechamel because cheese. is. good.
This version was served with a frisee salad dressed with a locally made apple cider vinegar (Normandy), and some leftover roasted potatoes from a rotisserie chicken dinner. The potatoes had greedily soaked up the juices from the chicken as it was cooking. It almost makes me mad at potatoes that weren’t cooked this way. As if they missed out on their full potato potential.
And that extra bechamel I suggested? In a bowl (OK, vat) to the left, into which we haphazardly dunked these sandwiches off camera.