To PIOTROWSKI, this recipe is for a croque madame, a grilled ham and cheese sandwich with the specified sauce and with a fried egg on top. I have seen this (and eaten it myself) several times in in Paris. The croque monsieur is the same thing without the egg. So, yes, it is a little more than "just" grilled ham and cheese or grilled cheese, and you do find it in Paris, so I would not expect any travelers hoping for a Parisian croque madame as described in this recipe to be disappointed. And I've never heard of anyone traveling to France in expectation of superior "French" toast or "French" fries. That being said, this is the most accurate croque madame recipe I've tried, because it gets the sauce right.
A croque-madame is a variation on the croque-monsieur, a French twist on grilled ham and cheese. Instead of dipping the sandwich in egg before sautéeing in butter (as you would for a croque-monsieur), grill the sandwich first and top with homemade Mornay Sauce, cheese, and sunny-side up egg.
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 4 slices sourdough or white sandwich bread
- 4 slices good-quality cooked ham
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (optional)
- 1 cup grated Gruyère or Emmentaler cheese, divided
- 1 cup Mornay Sauce
- 2 eggs, cooked sunny-side up or over easy
- 1. Preheat broiler. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Butter bread on all sides, and top 2 of the slices with ham and, if desired, a smear of Dijon. Top with 1/2 cup cheese, and cover with remaining bread slices. Place sandwiches in skillet, pressing gently with back of spatula. Let cook about 1 to 2 minutes or until bottom is lightly golden.
- 2. Top sandwiches in skillet with Mornay Sauce and remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Place skillet in oven, and broil 2 to 3 minutes or until golden and bubbly, taking care not to burn. Top with egg, and serve immediately.
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