A staple in French cafes is a sandwich called the croque-monsieur. To the passerby, it may look like an ordinary cheese sandwich, but this French comfort food is so much more than that! A traditional croque-monsieur has layers of cheese and ham and is topped with a rich, creamy, cheesy bechamel sauce. A simple breakfast that goes great with a cup of coffee in the morning. The most common variation of this tasty sandwich is the croque-madame which tops the bechamel sauce with a fried egg. Fun fact alert: the name is said to have been derived by the fact that the egg resembles a woman’s wide-brimmed hat, hence the “madame”! There are several other variations of this sandwich depending on region and an Americanized version is the Monte Cristo where in true American fashion we have deep-fried this classic sandwich and topped it with powdered sugar and jam. Having leftover shredded pork from my ramen venture, I decided to give this sandwich my own twist with a California spin substituting the ham for shredded pork, adding avocado (of course), and replacing the sauce with more cheese! This is a quick recipe that could be made for breakfast or lunch and definitely takes your grilled cheese skills to the next level!


  • 2 slices sourdough bread
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 1/2 cup cooked shredded pork
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • non-stick spray

Creating the Croque

  • coat frying pan evenly with non-stick spray
  • coat one side of each slice of bread with the butter, using 1/2 a tablespoon on each slice
  • to build the sandwich, lay one slice of bread butter-side down, sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese, add the pork, sprinkle another 1/4 cup of the cheese, and spread the mustard on the other slice of bread on the unbuttered side and place on top, butter-side up to complete the sandwich
  • preheat broiler
  • cook sandwich using frying pan over medium heat for two minutes on each side until evenly browned and the cheese is melted throughout
  • removed sandwich from frying pan and place on a parchment lined baking sheet
  • top one side of sandwich with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and broil for about 45 seconds until cheese is completely melted
  • while sandwich is in the broiler, cook the egg in the frying pan to make either a fried egg or sunny-side up egg
  • top the sandwich with the sliced avocado and cooked egg
  • Break the yolk and enjoy!

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