Croque Madame

in Breakfast, Dinner, Sandwiches

I secretly LOVE Valentine’s Day.  I mean, how can I not? I LOVE love!  Here’s a small little list of what I’m loving right now:

I love my family dog, Chuck, mainly because he has weird habits like biting his nails and smelling his ear wax. He’s weird. Like me.  Also, his paws smell like chips, particularly Fritos.

I love my family because all of them, in their own way, have taught me how to be a human being.

I love my friends because they can make me laugh ’til I cry.

I love small stuff like sleeping in without having an alarm set, my tempur-pedic pillow, french pressed coffee…and…umm…this blog. I really do love this thing.

I love this sandwich with french pressed coffee.  I also love this sandwich with a glass of wine. That’s particularly why I love this sandwich, because it can go either way: breakfast or dinner.

Please make this for Valentine’s Day, or any day really, but especially tomorrow. Skip the terrible prix fixe menu, stay home, save some money and make this! Skip the expensive roses and instead get a small bouquet of ranunculus. Let’s go against the grain, people! Skip the lame teddy bears from the drug store and make somebody this sandwich…they can hug it, and this thing’ll hug back, I swear–it’s that good.

Croque Madame

Recipe by Gourmet

Print this recipe!

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups whole milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

3 1/2 ounces coarsely grated Gruyère cheese (1 1/3 cups)

8 slices firm white sandwich bread

4 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/2 pound thinly sliced cooked ham (preferably Black Forest)

4 large eggs

Make sauce:
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, then whisk in flour and cook roux, whisking, 3 minutes. Whisk in milk and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, 5 minutes. Whisk in salt, pepper, nutmeg, and 1/3 cup cheese until cheese is melted. Remove from heat and cover surface directly with a sheet of wax paper.

Make sandwiches:
Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons sauce evenly over each of 4 slices of bread, then sprinkle evenly with remaining cheese (1/4 cup per slice). Spread mustard evenly on remaining 4 bread slices and top with ham, dividing it evenly, then invert onto cheese-topped bread to form sandwiches.

Lightly oil a 15- by 10-inch shallow baking pan.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately low heat, then cook sandwiches, turning over once, until golden, 3 to 4 minutes total. Remove from heat and transfer sandwiches to baking pan, then wipe out skillet with paper towels.

Preheat broiler.

Top each sandwich with 1/3 cup sauce, spreading evenly. Broil sandwiches 4 to 5 inches from heat until sauce is bubbling and golden in spots, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off broiler and transfer pan to lower third of oven to keep sandwiches warm.

Heat remaining tablespoon butter in nonstick skillet over moderate heat until foam subsides, then crack eggs into skillet and season with salt and pepper. Fry eggs, covered, until whites are just set and yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes. Top each sandwich with a fried egg and serve immediately.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim February 14, 2010 at 8:27 am

We really love this thing, too. And Croque Madames with their runny eggs, Gruyere and ham?! Oh and Dijon- my true love! Mmmmmm, mmm. This is a Valentines Day breakfast that will warm my heart right up.

Happy Valentines to you and Caroline.

Reply

la mujer February 16, 2010 at 6:15 pm

I really love the stories you have about Chuck. You must make this Croque Madame for me the next time you’re here. Mucho carino!

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sarah February 17, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Oh, I was just thinking that this is something I really need to make at home. Thanks for making it that much easier with the wonderful recipe. Looks delicious! I can’t wait

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Jennifer @ T-Bones & Tofu February 17, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Coincidentally I just saw a little write up on Croque Madame in this month’s Elle Decor (odd, I know.) I’ve never had it and, as I don’t eat pork, imagine I never will. Do you think the flavors might work with smoked salmon as a substitute?

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Adrianna February 18, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Jennifer, I’d recommend chicken over salmon. Jacques Pepin famously makes his Croque Monsieurs with chicken rather than ham!

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Cafe Pasadena February 18, 2010 at 3:42 pm

There’s a whole lotta love in this post! Hope you and your significant other had a lovely Valentine Day.

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jules March 8, 2010 at 5:32 pm

you are too cute. just discovered your blog via tastespotting and going to make this tomorrow. thanks!

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Adrianna March 8, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Jules, So glad you found us. Let me know how it turns out!

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Jennifer July 19, 2010 at 9:34 am

Okay so I know I’m a little late on the comment for this blog, but I just found the site and I LOVE IT…but I just had to let someone else know that my dogs paws spell like fritos too! I still like fritos though…is that weird?

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Adrianna July 23, 2010 at 7:02 pm

Jennifer–Ha! That’s awesome. After I wrote this someone emailed me a link that explained the reason dog’s feet smell like Fritos. It has something to do with a bacteria that grows in their paws. It’s not a bad thing, just a dog thing. Isn’t that weird?! And yes, I love Fritos still too! Glad I’m not the only one!

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carma January 28, 2011 at 11:53 am

Black forest ham on a croque madame? Not if you respect the French! ; ) French ham only w/ French mustard (Dijon)

@Jennifer if you put salmon on it it’s called a croque Novegian.

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Ysobel April 18, 2012 at 8:48 pm

I just made this like right now following your recipe. My brother loves it!!

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Adrianna April 18, 2012 at 11:38 pm

RAD!

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Stacey B. May 5, 2013 at 1:13 pm

I made this yesterday and it was simply the best thing I’ve ever eaten!

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