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Croque Madame

Servings: 4 people
Calories: 1099kcal

Ingredients

For the béchamel sauce:

  • 6 ounces salted butter, divided
  • 2 TBS flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (plus more for seasoning)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper (optional)

For the sandwich:

  • 8 slices sourdough bread, sliced thick
  • 1/2 lb sliced ham (use good quality ham for this)
  • 12 oz Gruyere cheese, grated and divided
  • 4 eggs

Instructions

For the béchamel Sauce:

  • In a small saucepan, melt 1 ounce (2 TBS) butter over low heat.
  • Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes. Do not allow it to brown!
  • Warm the milk in a separate pan and add it to the roux (butter and flour combination). Add the bay leaf, red pepper flakes, and white pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens, about 8-10 minutes, on low heat.
  • Remove and discard the bay leaf. Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Set pan aside to allow the sauce to cool.

For the sandwich:

  • Arrange 4 slices of the sourdough bread on a flat surface. Top each with 2 to 3 slices of ham. I like to warm it up a bit first, but totally optional.Mix together half of the Gruyere cheese and the béchamel sauce. Taste for seasoning. Spread a little of the sauce on top of the ham and top each with another slice of bread.
  • Mix together half of the grated Gruyere cheese and the bechamel sauce. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt or white pepper if desired.
  • Spread a little of the sauce on top of the ham and top each with another slice of bread.
  • Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add half of the remaining butter (2 TBS) and melt. Place 2 of the sandwiches in the skillet and brown on one side, about 2 minutes. Turn on the other side and brown 2 more minutes. Transfer sandwich to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining butter and sandwiches. Spread the remaining béchamel on top of the sandwiches and top with the other half of the Gruyere cheese.
  • Spread the remaining béchamel on top of the sandwiches and top with the other half of the Gruyere cheese. Sprinkle on a little more Parmesan if desired.
  • You can choose to top your sandwich with a fried egg or a poached egg. If frying the eggs, you can cook them in the same skillet with a little additional butter. Yolks should be runny but whites completely cooked. You can also make poached eggs in a sauce pan if preferred. While the eggs are frying or poaching, place the sandwiches under the broiler. Broil until the top becomes golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Watch closely! Season the eggs with salt and top each sandwich with an egg. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 1099kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 81g | Saturated Fat: 45g | Cholesterol: 395mg | Sodium: 2030mg | Potassium: 455mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2296IU | Calcium: 1062mg | Iron: 4mg