Croque Monsieur and meals inspired by “It’s Complicated” for Food ‘n Flix

It has been a long time since I have laughed so hard.

There I was, iPad in hand, sitting alone in a darkened living room, LMFAO!

Seriously, I started to cry I was laughing so hard.

If you have seen It’s Complicated (the Food ‘n Flix September pick), I bet you know what scene I found so hilarious.

Yes, it was the suave Alec Baldwin seduction scene with strategically placed laptop.

Enough said.

Food‘nFlix
Thanks, France, for hosting this month.   I needed that laugh.

I know that I will not be the only one mesmerized by Meryl Streep’s character.    Jane Adler is a beautiful “woman-of-a-certain-age” who has seemingly triumphed after her divorce.   So much so, that she is still on good terms with her ex, Jake Adler (played by Alec Baldwin).   That leads to the complication of the title.

A simple, lovely meal of tossed salad and Croque Monsieur.

While adding on and remodeling her house, she meets a funny and dashing architect, Adam (played by Steve Martin).     It is the scene of one of their first dates that inspired me for this post.

I really don’t know why she was remodeling this kitchen. Doesn’t it look perfect?

I know I will not be the only one that was inspired to make Croque Monsieur, the dish that she whips up for Adam.    Jane says that she learned to make this dish during her younger days in Paris because it was cheap.

I beg to differ with her.   After I bought blocks of Gruyere and Parmesan and sliced Virginia Ham, I had about twenty-five bucks in this “cheap” meal.   But, it was worth it.

I found a good recipe from Ina Garten at FoodNetwork.    You can find it here.   The only change I made to the recipe was to use smoked Gruyere.    Ina’s recipe called for “white bread slices,” but it looked to me like Jane used French bread for her recipe in the film.    I decided to make my own bread.

French Bread for Croque Monsieur

1 c. warm water
1 pkg. yeast (2 1/4 t.)
1 T. olive oil (plus more for oiling rising bowl)
1/2 T. sugar
1/2 T. fine sea salt
2 1/2 – 3 c. flour, divided

Combine warm water and yeast in bowl of a stand mixer.   In a small bowl, combine the oil, sugar, and salt.   Stir well.  Add oil mixture to yeast water.    Add dough hook and mix in flour, one cup at a time until a stiff dough forms.   Knead with dough hook for 10 minutes.

Coat a large bowl with oil.   Place dough in bowl, turning once to oil top.   Cover with a clean cloth and let rise in a warm place for 60 minutes or until doubled.    Turn dough onto a floured surface and roll into a 6 x 12 rectangle.   Roll up like a jelly roll and shape into a loaf.   Pinch and shape ends.    Place on an oiled baking sheet or silicon pad.   Brush the top of the loaf with water.    Cut 1/4-inch slashes along the top of the loaf.   Allow to rise uncovered for 60 minutes or until doubled.

Place a pan of hot water in the oven on a bottom rack and preheat oven to 400 degrees.   After loaf rises, bake for 10 minutes.   Brush with water again and bake another 20 minutes or until bread is golden brown on top and sounds hollow when tapped.

This recipe can easily be doubled.

(Sorry, I spaced and didn’t snap a pic of the finished loaf.)

During my bachelorette days last week (The Hubs was working out of state), I made this for dinner.

My “alone night” dinner.

I had some cheese sauce and Gruyere left over from my dinner, so the next morning, I made Croque Monsieur again for breakfast.   This time, I used only one slice of bread, toasted it, topped it with Dijon, ham, cheese and a fried egg before putting the cheese sauce on top and broiling it a bit.

Breakfast.

I have to say that I really liked this dish without the top slice of bread.    It was a great breakfast.

Still having some more cheese sauce left, I made this again when The Hubs got home for another dinner.   Again,  I only used one slice of bread on the bottom.    It is a bit more manageable and not quite so filling (if that is possible).

A second dinner.

I will definitely be making this again!

Thanks to France and Beyond the Peel for hosting this month.

Next month, The Law Student’s Cookbook will be hosting Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.    I haven’t seen that since college and I can’t wait to re-watch it!

And now for something somewhat unrelated:
I am really excited that the latest Meryl Streep movie is shooting right here in little ole Oklahoma.    I cannot wait for August: Osage County to start officially filming.   There is a great cast being assembled and the production company has purchased a grand antebellum style farmhouse near Pawhuska.    We saw this play in Tulsa, penned by the homegrown talent, Tracy Letts, and starring Estelle Parsons as the whacked-out matriarch of this totally dysfunctional family dramedy (more drama than comedy, I might add).     For the latest news on the film, click here.

If I have a star sighting, you will be the first to know!

 

 

 

 

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My Favorite Reads

Eat, Pray, Love
Running with Scissors
SantaLand Diaries
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Angela's Ashes
Naked
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
My Life in France
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living
Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table
Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table
The Liars' Club
Code Name Verity
The Paris Wife
The Shoemaker's Wife
The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo: A Novel
Brother of the More Famous Jack
Burying the Honeysuckle Girls


Debra's favorite books »