I had one of those mornings where I woke up and immediately began working. I’m sure you have had this type of morning as well. Well, I got so caught up into my work that by the time I looked at the clock it was already 10:15 a.m. Normally I like to go to the gym for a nice cardio workout, eat a light breakfast, then start work. This was not the case. I decided to make it to gym for a nice forty minute workout, and as I was getting ready to get back to work, it dawned on my that I was extremely hungry. I wanted something hearty and comforting to finish off my day, and this is when I decided I would make a brunch like item. This is when I decided to make the croque madame.
A croque madame is essentially a French ham and cheese sandwich, but not only a ham and cheese sandwich. See, this sandwich has a coating of bechamel sauce, and topped with an egg. Now how’s that for a nice pick me up brunch item!?
Let’s get started, as staring at the photo only makes me want another one.
Ingredients: [Print this Recipe]
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups of milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- 6 thin slices of Gruyère cheese
- 8 thin slices of Black Forest Ham
- 1 cup of grated Gruyère cheese
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 4 slices of thick cut French sandwich loaf
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 eggs, 1 tbsp butter
Begin by making the bechamel sauce. Get two saucepans, and heat one on a medium low heat, and the other on medium heat. To the pan on medium, low heat, add the milk, and let it get warm. To the other pan, add the two tablespoons of butter, and let it melt down and begin to bubble a bit. Add the flour to the butter, and mix it very well to incorporate the two. Continue whisking for about two minutes, being careful not to let the flour mixture brown. Slowly add in the warm milk, and continue whisking until you everything is nice and smooth. You will whisk this for about 8-10 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Add in the salt, nutmeg, and the parmesan cheese. Give a good mix, then remove it from the heat until it is ready to be used.
Next, get a large skillet going on the stove, and bring that to a medium heat. Butter four slices of the bread, and lay them into the skillet, butter side down. The goal here is to get them nice and golden brown, without burning them. As they begin to cook, add a tablespoon of mustard to two pieces of the bread. Lay down three slices of Gruyère cheese on top of the mustard, then top each with four slices of the black forest ham. Let them continue cooking on the skillet, lifting to peak every couple of minutes, until the have reached that golden brown color, and have a crunchy exterior.
Now for the assembly.
Get your broiler going on 475 degrees.
Add the slices of toasted bread to a baking sheet. Place the toasted bread on top of the bread with the mustard, cheese, and ham. Now take the bechamel sauce and generously spread it all of the top of each sandwich. Take half a cup of the Gruyère cheese and add that to the top of the bechamel sauce.
Place this under the broiler until the cheese is nice and bubbly and everything is warmed through, roughly 4-6 minutes.
During this time, add a tablespoon of butter to the skillet, and let it melt on medium-high heat. Crack the eggs, leaving the yolks whole, and continue cooking in the skillet until the whites around the yolk are cooked through, sunny side up style.
Remove the sandwiches from the broiler, and place on a serving plate. Top each sandwich with the egg. Dig in!
What you get in a totally sexy sandwich. You get the perfect sharpness from the cheese and mustard, along with the creaminess of the egg and bechamel sauce, then on top of that, you get the tender ham. Wow. Words sometimes cannot explain, however I am extremely glad that I forgot to eat breakfast this morning! Hope you enjoy.