Croque Madame

This is a fantastic Sunday night supper which is basically just an amped up version of a ham and cheese toasted sandwich.  I am a big fan of just the Croque Monsieur which is this minus the egg.  But the majority of this household likes to go all out with a perfectly cooked egg, sunny side up.

A good sourdough bread and some gruyère make this dish.  Thick slices of ham off the bone are highly recommended.  Finding really good ingredients makes this simple recipe quite special.  Sometimes I like a good bit of Dijon mustard spread on the bread too. Serve it with a green salad and a glass of wine.  Who wouldn’t want to come over for a Sunday supper with that on the menu!

croque madame

(slightly adapted from Manu Feidel’s recipe for Croque Monsieur from his book ‘Manu’s French Kitchen’)

4 slices leg ham
8 slices good quality white bread i.e. sourdough
1 x 300g piece of gruyère cheese
3 egg yolks
100ml cream
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
40g unsalted butter, softened
4 eggs, extra
1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat grill to high and line a baking tray.

Cut the ham slice and thinly slice 200g of the cheese to match the size of the bread slices.  Grate remaining cheese into a bowl and add the egg yolks, cream and season to taste.

Spread one side of 4 bread slices with butter.  Place the bread buttered side down on the baking tray.  Top with a slice of cheese, a slice of ham and another slice of cheese.  Top with remaining slices of bread.

Spread the egg and cheese mix over the top of the bread and put under the grill for a few minutes or until the top is golden and bubbling.

Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick pan and fry the 4 extra eggs sunny side up.  When cooked place the eggs on top of the croque monsieur and voilà … you have a croque madame!  Serve with a salad.

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