Croque madame – cheese and ham toasted sandwich, with a baked layer of cheesy bechamel topped with a fried egg. Comfort food perfection!
When the weather starts to become cold, our thoughts about lunch turn from salads and light bites to something much more warming. More often than not that has me making a warming pan of soup. However that wasn’t appealing to me on that particular day. Spurred on by an Instagram post from one of my favourite local coffee shops in town, The Kilted Frog, and fresh free range eggs that I just collected from my hens, it was croque madame for lunch. Toasted ham and cheese, with a good dollop of mustard, topped with a rich creamy béchamel sauce and topped with a fresh fried egg. What could be better?
I’ve made this so many times since that this has now become a lunchtime staple. The best part is that it is very simple to make a larger batch of the béchamel sauce, which allows you to store excess sauce in small containers in the freezer. Making this an easy dish for one when the craving takes you.
If you like this recipe then try our Spicy Shakshuka, our Cornbread with Corn Salsa & Avocado or our Curried Baked Eggs. Great brunch or lunch dishes using one of our favourite ingredients – the humble egg.
- 4 slices of bread
- 2 large free range eggs
- 2-4 slices good quality ham
- 20 g comte cheese grated
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 25 g butter
- 20 g plain flour
- 150 ml whole milk
- 80 g comte cheese grated
- pinch of fresh grated nutmeg
- salt & pepper to taste
Prepare the béchamel sauce by combining the butter and flour in a pan over a medium heat. Stir until the mixture forms a paste and gradually add the milk a bit at a time, mixing continuously. Do not leave unattended as it will stick and burn. Continue stirring and allow time for the flour to thoroughly cook, approximately 10-15 minutes. Add the 80g of grated comte cheese and a grating of the fresh nutmeg. Season to taste with salt. Keep warm until needed.
Under a medium grill toast the 4 slices on bread on one side only. Remove from the grill and spread mustard over 2 slices on the non toasted side. Top each with a slice or two of ham and the remaining grated cheese. Place these two slices back under the grill to allow the cheese to melt. Once melted, remove from the grill.
Place the remaining 2 slices of bread over the slices containing the ham and melted cheese so that the non toasted side is facing up. Spread the béchamel sauce over the two sandwiches and then place back under the grill. While these are grilling, quickly fry up the eggs to your liking. Remove the sandwiches from the grill and top each with a fried egg. Serve immediately.
Linking up this post to Cook Blog Share – make sure you go have a look at all the other great recipes from fellow bloggers!