Level: Super easy.
Time: 30 minutes (if using pre-made Béchamel sauce)
Be it breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or supper. This wicked sandwiches never fail to make me drool, it has the charm of a French bistro in every bite. What's not to like? The runny sunny side up egg, oozing Béchamel sauce on top and melted cheese inside the sandwich, succulent honey leg ham, crunchy-yet-chewy sourdough bread. YUM!
I used honey leg ham from Coles Deli and I gotta tell you, I LOVE Coles. Their products are all cheap (they are serious with their Down, down, staying down commercial, haha) and the quality is just as fresh as those products with fancy brands and packaging. Anyway, this ham flavored with real bees' honey, is so succulent and slightly sweet, delicious on sandwiches. Croque-madame generally uses gruyere cheese inside, but I used mozzarella cheese here.
Croque-madame is basically croque-monsieur served with fried egg on top, the name comes from the egg resembling an old fashioned woman's hat. So basically, croque-monsieur has a a gender swap when topped with egg. If you want to fancy it up and enhance the egg porn, you can also top this sandwich with poached egg.
Here's a tutorial on how to poach an egg perfectly by Curtis Stone (featured as sexiest man alive by People Magazine ♥)
- pre-made Béchamel sauce (recipe here)
- 2 slices white sourdough (or any crusty bread)
- 1 large eggs
- 2-4 slices of honey leg ham
- 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese (or 2 slices of gruyere cheese)
- 1 tsp of Dijon mustard
Preheat your oven to 200 C and place the oven rack at the top of the oven. The first thing you need to do here is lightly toast the bread on both sides for the sandwich using an oven or toaster. If using an oven, toast your bread for about 8 minutes or so (4 minutes on each side). You can basically use any kinds of crusty bread from white bread to sourdough, I used multigrain sourdough here, the seeds in the bread adds a pleasant texture to this sandwich.
Once you get it slightly crisp, turn down oven temperature to 180 C, arrange ham and cheese on one slice of bread then put it back in the oven to melt the cheese. The amount of cheese depends on how cheesy you like your Croque-Madame. I do not like cheesy pick up lines, but I do like my food cheesy, so I used 1/4 cup of mozzarella for one serving.
Once the cheese is all gooey and melted, spread the remaining bread with Dijon mustard and place, mustard-side down, on top of the ham. Press down well. You can press it using a sandwich presser to get the top and bottom of the bread toasted up even more. Now place the sandwich in an oven rack and top the sandwich with a few tablespoons of Béchamel sauce and put it back in the oven to brown the sauce.
While waiting for the sauce to brown in the oven, you can start cooking your egg, be it fried sunny side up or poached. Once you're finished, simply put your egg on top of your melted, brown Béchamel sauce. There you have it, Croque-Madame perfect for brunch or late supper. Super easy and fast to make.