Madame Croque is a fabulous French bistro sandwich, wonderful anytime of day... perfect for breakfast, lunch or a light dinner. It was one of my son's favorite growing up, I made it occasionally for Sunday breakfast or brunch.
So what exactly is a Madame Croque?
It's a version of the popular Monsieur Croque sandwich…which has a number of versions also but is basically a grilled ham and cheese (gruyere) sandwich…. sprinkled cheese or sauce (variations use either a béchamel or Mornay) is
First a bit of trivia about the Madame Croque… according to Wikipedia … many dictionaries attribute the name to the egg resembling an old fashioned woman’s hat. So I used a poached egg which looks more like a bonnet.
Gruyere tends to be very expensive… a less expensive alternative is using a mix of Swiss and gruyere.. Sargento makes an Artisan Blend of Swiss and Gruyere that’s excellent and more affordable.
Some recipes only toast the bread … I tried that method… but found it a bit too dry. I suggest you follow my instructions that spreads butter or margarine (margarine works fine) on the outer sides of the sandwich bread and then grills the sandwich in a grill pan.
This Mornay sauce should be a little thinner than the sauce used in a Croque Monsieur... it doesn't get broiled at the end so you want a thinner sauce to run over the top of the sandwich.
This recipe makes 4 sandwiches.
Recipe: Madame Croque
All you need:
For the Mornay Sauce:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
¼ cup Sargento Artisan Blend Shredded Swiss and Gruyere Cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg
For the Sandwich:
8 slices of bread (I use white sandwich bread)
About 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine (for spreading)
½ lb. baked deli ham
2 cups of shredded Gruyere and Swiss blended cheese
All you need to do:
To make the sauce:
In a small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter.
Add the 2 tablespoons of flour and stir well.
Cook for about 2 minutes to “cook off” the flour taste.
Slowly pour the milk into the saucepan, whisking constantly with a whisk.
Whisk vigorously to make sure there are no lumps. Sauce will thicken fairly quickly.
Remove from the heat and add the shredded cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir well until cheese is melted… about 2 minutes. Sauce will be very thick. Set aside.
To make the sandwich:
Spread butter or margarine on one side of each slice of bread.
Place slices, buttered side down, on a cutting board.
Spread Dijon mustard on 4 of the non-buttered sides.
Place a few slices of ham on top of the Dijon mustard.
Place about ½ cup of shredded cheese (Gruyere-Swiss mix) on top of the ham.
Place with a slice of bread, dry side down, on top of the cheese…with one the buttered side up.
Repeat for each sandwich.
Heat a grill pan over medium heat.
Place sandwiches on the grill…. grill until bottom is golden brown.
Carefully flip the sandwiches over and grill other side until golden brown and cheese has melted.
TIP: To keep the bread from sliding off when flipping over, place a spatula over the top to hold the bread in place and use another spatula to flip it over.
Place a poached egg on top of the sandwich.
Spoon Mornay sauce over the egg and sandwich.
Sprinkle with nutmeg.
Repeat for each sandwich.