Croque Madame

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By Team Studio Kitchen

Croque Madame is a classic French sandwich that has earned its place as a beloved staple in both French cuisine and international culinary circles. It's a variation of the Croque Monsieur, which is essentially a ham and ultra cheesy sandwich, but the Croque Madame takes it up a notch by adding a fried or poached egg on top. The result is a decadent and satisfying dish that combines the richness of melted cheese, the saltiness of ham, and the creamy goodness of a perfectly cooked egg.

The origins of the Croque Madame are somewhat mysterious, but it is widely believed to have originated in French cafés and bistros in the early 20th century. Its name, "Croque Madame," is said to have come about due to the resemblance of the egg atop the sandwich to a woman's hat.

Time

0

hour

45

minutes

Degree of Difficulty

Easy

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Portions

2
servings

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Ingredients

Servings

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150g gruyere cheese
4 slices bread
 q.s. unsalted butter for spreading (A)
250 ml whole milk
25g plain flour
40g unsalted butter, softened (B)
 q.s. salt flakes
 q.s. white pepper
 q.s. black pepper
2tbsp dijon mustard
2tbsp tarragon leaves
2tbsp chives finely chopped
4 slices smoked leg ham
2 eggs, large free range
1

To get started… turn the oven on to 180C. Grate the gruyere on the small side of a box grater and set aside. Finely chop the chives and set aside in a small bowl. Pick some tarragon leaves and set aside in a small bowl. 

 

2

For the bread… take four slices of bread and spread butter (A) onto one side only of each slice. Heat a large non stick fry pan over a medium heat and add two slices of bread buttered side down into the pan. Heat until lightly toasted and remove onto a plate. Repeat with the last two slices and set aside. 

 

3

For the bechamel… Heat the milk in a saucepan and reserve set aside. Melt the 40 g of the butter (B) in a separate saucepan, add the flour and cook out stirring with a heat resistant spatula over a low to medium heat for a minute. Slowly add the  milk in a couple of stages, whisking the mix to a smooth paste every time milk is added. Turn the heat to low and cook out for 4-5 minutes stirring constantly with the spatula to stop it sticking to the pan. Season with salt and white pepper and remove the pan from the heat. Add and mix in 100 g of the grated cheese and stir well to incorporate. Set aside.

 

4

To assemble the sandwiches… lay the slices of bread onto a board toasted side down and spread 2 large tablespoons of the cheese sauce onto two slices of bread. Spread level with a palette knife. Add half of the remaining cheese evenly to the surface of the white sauce on two slices. Add some chopped chives and a few tarragon leaves to the cheese. Add a slice or two of ham on top of the herbs. Liberally spread dijon mustard onto the two free slices of bread on the untoasted side. Sandwich the mustard side of bread onto the sandwiches. Transfer each sandwich to a baking tray and top each sandwich equally with the remaining white sauce and the remaining cheese. Season each sandwich with salt and pepper and transfer the tray into the oven while you cook the eggs. 

 

5

For the eggs… heat a large frypan and add some vegetable oil or light olive oil. Crack two eggs into the pan and let the whites start to set and bubble. Turn the heat off and open the oven. Remove the sandwiches once they are golden and on top and add the eggs to the oven. 

 

6

To serve… Place the sandwiches onto serving plates and take the eggs out of the oven. Use a flat slice to top each sandwich with an egg. Finish with more chopped chives, tarragon leaves and seasoning. Serve immediately. 

 

1
0 hours 0 minutes

To get started… turn the oven on to 180C. Grate the gruyere on the small side of a box grater and set aside. Finely chop the chives and set aside in a small bowl. Pick some tarragon leaves and set aside in a small bowl. 

2
0 hours 0 minutes

For the bread… take four slices of bread and spread butter (A) onto one side only of each slice. Heat a large non stick fry pan over a medium heat and add two slices of bread buttered side down into the pan. Heat until lightly toasted and remove onto a plate. Repeat with the last two slices and set aside. 

3
0 hours 0 minutes

For the bechamel… Heat the milk in a saucepan and reserve set aside. Melt the 40 g of the butter (B) in a separate saucepan, add the flour and cook out stirring with a heat resistant spatula over a low to medium heat for a minute. Slowly add the  milk in a couple of stages, whisking the mix to a smooth paste every time milk is added. Turn the heat to low and cook out for 4-5 minutes stirring constantly with the spatula to stop it sticking to the pan. Season with salt and white pepper and remove the pan from the heat. Add and mix in 100 g of the grated cheese and stir well to incorporate. Set aside.

4
0 hours 0 minutes

To assemble the sandwiches… lay the slices of bread onto a board toasted side down and spread 2 large tablespoons of the cheese sauce onto two slices of bread. Spread level with a palette knife. Add half of the remaining cheese evenly to the surface of the white sauce on two slices. Add some chopped chives and a few tarragon leaves to the cheese. Add a slice or two of ham on top of the herbs. Liberally spread dijon mustard onto the two free slices of bread on the untoasted side. Sandwich the mustard side of bread onto the sandwiches. Transfer each sandwich to a baking tray and top each sandwich equally with the remaining white sauce and the remaining cheese. Season each sandwich with salt and pepper and transfer the tray into the oven while you cook the eggs. 

5
0 hours 0 minutes

For the eggs… heat a large frypan and add some vegetable oil or light olive oil. Crack two eggs into the pan and let the whites start to set and bubble. Turn the heat off and open the oven. Remove the sandwiches once they are golden and on top and add the eggs to the oven. 

6
0 hours 0 minutes

To serve… Place the sandwiches onto serving plates and take the eggs out of the oven. Use a flat slice to top each sandwich with an egg. Finish with more chopped chives, tarragon leaves and seasoning. Serve immediately. 

Recipe Tags basics, cheese, egg, ham, nostalgia, toast