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Croque Madame

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© 2010 Helana Brigman
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Croque Madame is an egg-based spin on the classic Ham and Cheese French Sandwich known as “Croque Monsieur.”  Often served at breakfast, or brunch, Croque Madame is an early day variation of Croque Monsieur that is just so mouthwateringly delicious.  Ham, Cheese, French Bread, and Butter were all meant by the cooking gods (praise their recipes!) to be accompanied by a poached, or pan fried egg.

The best part about Croque Madame is that, much like its lover, it is easy, fast, cheap, and clearly delicious. Although most French recipes call for classic ham and Gruyère cheese, feel free to use your preferred ham (such as Prosciutto), or another cheese (like Swiss). Granted, the substitutions will not be identical to the classic Croque Monsieur, but when mixed with an egg, they will be clearly delicious spin on Croque Madame.

Croque Madame

The original for this recipe (“Croque Monsieur”) may be found at Elise Bauer’s food and cooking blog, Simply Recipes (here).  However, I recently found an equally enthusiastic dish that outlines how to poach and add the egg at the Epi-Ventures Food blog.  See “Temptress! Croque Madame” recipe here.

Ingredients:

*2 tablespoons butter

* 2 tablespoons flour

* 1 1/2 cups milk

* pinch of salt, ground pepper, and nutmeg

* 1 1/2 cups grated Gruyère Cheese

* 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

* 8 slices French Bread

* 12 ounces ham, thinly sliced such as Prosciutto

* Djon Mustard

* More butter for toasting

1.) Preheat oven to 400F. Slice bread from French loaf approximating 8 mediumly sliced pieces.

2.) Prepare the béchamel sauce: melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons flour and whisk to integrate until bubbly (about 2 minutes). Slowly add milk and whisk during the entire addition process. Sprinkle 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese and 1/4 cup Gruyère cheese. Set aside.

3.) Meanwhile, toast the bread. Lay 8 slices on a baking sheet and toast in oven for several minutes until lightly crunchy/toasted. You may wish to add butter to half of the bread slices (or even all) if you’re into that chewy buttery goodness on top of the other ingredients. However, this addition is based on personal preference.

4.) Remove toasted bread from oven and spread brown mustard/Djon over half of the bread slices.

5.) Add the ham to the other half of the slices.

6.) Sprinkle ham with cheese.

7.) Add remaining piece of bread on top of the ham/cheese/djon/bread combination so that you’ve officially created the sandwich.

8.) Toast in oven for another 5 minutes.  While sandwiches are toasting, prepare a fried egg, or poached egg.  For video tutorials on how to poach or fry an egg, see here (for poached) and here (for fried).

9.) Remove sandwiches from oven and spoon 1-2 tablespoons béchamel sauce over the tops of the sandwiches.

10.) Crack a fried or poached egg over each sandwich.  Serve and enjoy! Makes 4-6.


Croque-monsieur

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