by Raymond Blanc

Ah, le croque monsieur. It is France’s answer to Britain’s sandwich and America’s burger. This snack is enjoyed in the cafés and bars, and is a staple in many French homes (I ate quite a few in my youth). And it is always a well-received canapé, served as mini sandwiches. For this recipe, the creamy Saint Agur and earthy chestnuts are perfectly balanced by the sweetness and slight acidity of the cranberry compote. I am sure this will become a regular at your table too.

Credits: Recipe © Raymond Blanc / Photo © Chris Terry

Prep Time 20 Minutes
Cook Time 12 Minutes
Serves 12-16 portions
Method
  1. For the cranberry and orange compote filling

    In a medium saucepan, on a high heat, bring all the ingredients to the boil.

    Reduce to a simmer for 7-10 minutes.

    Allow to cool to room temperature. The compote can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated until required.

  2. For the Saint Agur blue cheese and chestnut filling

    In a medium bowl using a spatula mix together the Saint Agur blue cheese until smooth and soft. Fold in the chopped chestnuts, Dijon mustard and reserve.

  3. For the croque monsieur

    Preheat the grill to high and the oven to 200ºC.

    Under a preheated hot grill toast one side of the sourdough slices.

    Spread a large spoon of the Saint Agur blue cheese and chestnut filling on the untoasted side of two slices.

    Then spread a large spoon of the cranberry compote filling on the other two slices and sandwich them together so you have one slice of Saint Agur blue cheese and chestnut filling sandwiched together with the cranberry compote filling.

    Spread the remaining Saint Agur blue cheese and chestnut filling on the toasted top slice of each sandwich and place on a baking tray.

    Bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes. Leave to cool for a minute or so before cutting each sandwich into 6-8 portions, canapé sized. Scatter the chopped chives over the croques – et voilà! Serve.

INGREDIENTS

 

For the cranberry and orange compote filling

350g cranberries, fresh

1 star anise

100g caster sugar

100ml ruby port

1 orange, zest and juice only

 

For the Saint Agur blue cheese and chestnut filling

150g Saint Agur Blue Cheese

75g cooked chestnuts, finely chopped

1 tsp Dijon mustard

 

For the croque monsieur

4 large slices sourdough bread, cut 1.5cm thick

70g Saint Agur Blue Cheese, cut into small dice

 

To Finish

¼ bunch chives, chopped

PRODUCT

View Method

Recipe Method

  1. For the cranberry and orange compote filling

    In a medium saucepan, on a high heat, bring all the ingredients to the boil.

    Reduce to a simmer for 7-10 minutes.

    Allow to cool to room temperature. The compote can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated until required.

  2. For the Saint Agur blue cheese and chestnut filling

    In a medium bowl using a spatula mix together the Saint Agur blue cheese until smooth and soft. Fold in the chopped chestnuts, Dijon mustard and reserve.

  3. For the croque monsieur

    Preheat the grill to high and the oven to 200ºC.

    Under a preheated hot grill toast one side of the sourdough slices.

    Spread a large spoon of the Saint Agur blue cheese and chestnut filling on the untoasted side of two slices.

    Then spread a large spoon of the cranberry compote filling on the other two slices and sandwich them together so you have one slice of Saint Agur blue cheese and chestnut filling sandwiched together with the cranberry compote filling.

    Spread the remaining Saint Agur blue cheese and chestnut filling on the toasted top slice of each sandwich and place on a baking tray.

    Bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes. Leave to cool for a minute or so before cutting each sandwich into 6-8 portions, canapé sized. Scatter the chopped chives over the croques – et voilà! Serve.