I first had Croque Madame at Graze Restaurant in Madison, WI and again in Las Vegas at Payard Patisserie Bistro. I love Croque Madame. I had not heard of it before. It's basically a toasted ham and Gruyere sandwich smothered with cheese sauce and topped with a fried egg. I'm just saying it's delicious! I found this recipe on Tasting Table Chef's Recipes from Chef David Myers. It's so easy to make that I don't think I'll order it out again. That's how I feel about eating out, I usually order dishes I can't make myself. It's really good served with a field greens dressed with a vinaigrette. Go to Tasting Table Chef's Recipes for the original recipe but now that I've made this recipe twice I've found a few shortcuts, so here is my version of Croque Madame.
Yield: 2 sandwiches
Four ¼-inch thick slices French or Italian sandwich bread
2-4 slices - thinly sliced ham
1/2 cup coarsely grated Gruyere cheese
1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (just a dash)
1/4 cup coarsely grated Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup coarsely grated (fresh) Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon butter
Preheat oven 400
1. Toast bread in toaster. Lightly spread one side of each bread slice with Dijon. Arrange the ham and Gruyere over 2 slices of the bread. Place the remaining 2 slices of bread, mustard side down, on top. Arrange the sandwiches on a rimmed baking sheet.
2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over low heat until it starts to bubble. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until smooth, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk and cook, whisking, until the sauce thickens, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the Gruyere (1/4 cup) and the Parmesan (1/4 cup). Stir until melted.
3. Spread the sauce over the tops of the toasted sandwiches. Bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes, then broil until the cheese is bubbling and lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, in a nonstick skillet, melt the tablespoon butter over medium heat. Crack the eggs into the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the whites are just set but the yolks are still runny. Top each sandwich with an egg and serve immediately.