I discovered croque monsieur on a rainy February day while I was a sophomore in college. I came into the city early on a Saturday morning to cover an event for a class and afterwards, met up for brunch with one of my high school friends that lived in the West Village. He took me to the most adorable and elegant brunch spot, Cafe Cluny, where we sipped bellinis and ordered croque monsieurs and cappuccinos. I’ve never been to France, but I imagined life there was as fabulous as I felt in that moment.
My obsession with brussels sprouts is not a secret. I could go on forever about how roasted brussels sprouts are simply the best of winter produce. I desperately try to convince even the most avid brussels sprouts haters (I’m looking at you, Dad) that they just haven’t eaten them the right way and it’s not the sprouts they hate, but the bland preparation. Roasted brussels sprouts are usually my weapon for conversion from hater to lover, but I think this recipe is something special, too. It starts with bacon, after all.