Like the famous Croque Monsieur sandwich found at almost any French café, the Croque Madame is another local favorite. What is it? It’s simply a Croque Monsieur (toasted ham and cheese sandwich with béchamel sauce) topped with a fried egg. Read more about the history of the sandwiches HERE. The Croque Madame (in my opinion) is perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. It’s just SO good!
3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1.5 cups whole milk
3 cups grated Gruyere, Swiss, or Emmentaler cheese, divided
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, divided
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
12 slices firm white sandwich bread
18 slices Black Forest ham
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a saucepan, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter over moderately low heat. Once the butter is melted, add the flour and whisk together well for approximately one minute to form a roux. Do not let the roux brown. Once combined, slowly add the milk while whisking constantly to prevent lumps.
Add 1 cup of the Gruyere and all of the parmesan cheese, the nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Allow the sauce to thicken by simmering approximately 8 minutes.
To a baking sheet, add the slices of bread. Bake for a total of 6 minutes, turning the bread half way, until toasted.
Remove the bread from the oven. It’s time to arrange the sandwiches! First, apply Dijon mustard to half of the bread slices. To the same slices, add three slices of Black Forest ham. From the remaining 2 cups of Gruyere, use approximately half to sprinkle over the ham. Top with the other pieces of toasted bread to make a total of 6 sandwiches.
Add the sandwiches to a lined baking sheet. Spoon generous amounts of the cheesy béchamel sauce all over the sandwiches, then sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere.
Bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler to high, and broil until the cheese is bubbly and golden (approximately 3-5 minutes).
While the sandwiches are baking, fry the eggs. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter to a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Carefully crack eggs into the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Allow the eggs to fry, uncovered, until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny (approximately 3 minutes). Add a fried egg to the top of each sandwich and serve immediately.
*Feature photo courtesy of www.eatoeb.com