Croque Madame (Ham and Cheese Sandwich with a Fried Egg)
Croque Madame is a variety of Croque Monsieur. Croque Monsieur is a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. The “Madame” has the addition of a fried, over easy, or poached egg. Other varieties include the “Provencal” (tomato), “Auvergnat” (blue cheese), “Gagnet” (gouda cheese and andouille sausage), “Norvégien” (smoked salmon instead of ham), “Tartiflette” (sliced potatoes), “Bolognese” (bolognese sauce), “Señor” (tomato salsa), and “Hawaiian” (sliced pineapple). This dish doesn’t keep well so adjust the recipe to make the exact amount you need.
Ingredients: (makes 2 sandwiches)
3 Tbs Butter
2 Tbs Flour
1 c Milk
1/8 tsp Pepper
1/16 tsp Nutmeg (a pinch really)
3 oz. Provolone Cheese (gruyère or swiss will substitute fine)
4 Slices Rye Bread
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/4 lb. Ham
Salt & Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400°. Grease a baking dish (sized to fit your sandwiches) with a little butter or oil. Melt butter in a sauce pan. Add flour and whisk to create a roux. Add the milk, whisking to ensure there are no lumps. Add in the pepper and nutmeg. Bring to bubbling and add 1/3 of the cheese (1 oz.). Melt the cheese and add in the mustard. Once it is mixed well and the cheese is melted, remove from heat. Toast the bread and begin assembling the sandwich. Place half the toast in the baking dish. Ladle 1/3 of the cheese sauce on the bottom slices. Cover with 1oz. Cheese (shredded or sliced doesn’t matter) per sandwich. Next top with the ham and the other bread slice. Spread the remaining cheese sauce over the sandwich tops. Bake for around 20-30 minutes. You’re trying to heat the ham and melt the cheese on the inside of the sandwich. Remove from oven if the cheese starts to brown.
When the sandwiches have baked, keep them warm and make your egg top. You can top this sandwich with a fried, over easy, or poached egg. I made this one with a fried egg. To fry an egg, heat butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Crack an egg into a small dish. Once the butter has stopped foaming, drop the egg into the butter. Cover the egg and let it cook for 3-6 minutes depending on how you like it. For a runny yolk, 3 minutes; for a cooked through yolk, 6 minutes (or until the yolk doesn’t wiggle when you wiggle the pan). Once your egg has cooked to your liking, gently place it on top of your sandwich. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Congrats! You have made Croque Madame!
For more culinary adventures, check out my other recipes! If you’d like another french dish, why not try my crêpes?