A Croque Madame is a delightful French sandwich that takes the simple ham and cheese combo to a whole new level of yumminess. Imagine slices of hearty bread stuffed with thin layers of tasty ham and creamy Gruyère cheese. What makes the Croque Madame extra special is the addition of a perfectly fried or poached egg on top. This egg with its sunny-side-up or runny yolk not only adds a touch of luxury but also makes the dish look amazing.
The sandwich is then baked or broiled until the cheese becomes all melty and the bread turns a beautiful golden brown. It's like a comforting hug for your taste buds, with a mix of textures and flavors that work together like magic. A Croque Madame is the ultimate comfort food that combines the best of both worlds – it's indulgent and comforting, all in one delicious bite!
Ingredients - serves 4
8 slices of bread - I like a thicker cut bread or even a nice sourdough
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
4 slices of Ham - use a flavourful ham, honey ham/Gypsy ham/Black forest ham
300g Gruyere cheese, grated
30g Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt & pepper
Begin by melting your butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Add your flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously.
Gradually pour in the milk while whisking vigorously, ensuring a smooth béchamel sauce. Continue to cook for about 3-4 minutes.
Season the sauce with a pinch of salt, pepper, and a dash of nutmeg for added flavor.
Stir in the Parmesan cheese until it's well incorporated. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature.
Now, let's assemble the sandwiches:
Lay out four slices of bread on a clean surface and spread a thin layer of mustard on each slice.
Top each bread slice with ham and 3/4 of the Gruyere cheese.
Create sandwiches by placing the remaining bread slices on top.
Next, it's time to give your sandwiches a delightful crunch:
Preheat your oven's grill function.
In a frying pan, melt some butter over medium heat, and then add your sandwiches. Fry them until they turn golden brown on both sides.
Place the fried sandwiches on a baking tray.
Now, for the finishing touch:
Generously spread a thick layer of the prepared béchamel sauce on top of each sandwich.
Sprinkle the remaining Gruyere cheese over the béchamel-covered sandwiches.
Put the sandwiches under the oven's grill and cook until they turn a beautiful golden color.
While the sandwiches are grilling, cook your eggs in a separate pan to your preferred level of doneness. For this sandwich, a softly cooked yolk works wonderfully.
Once your sandwiches are golden, take them out of the oven, and gently place a fried egg on top of each one.
Enjoy your homemade Croque Madame!