A croque madame is a really famous french dish. In France, where it comes from, they serve it everywhere. In bars, coffee shops, or dinners. It`s sibling, the much more famous, croque monsieur is really well known.
Croque madame and croque monsieur are both simple sandwiches, filled with ham, and cheese (a melting type), with loaf bread (preferably brioche type bread), and some bechamel sauce. The difference between a croque madame and a croque monsieur is that a croque madame has a fried egg on top. Now, to this base recipes you can add a little mayonnaise or mustard, or different types of ham or cheese.
The story says that croque madames are called this way because they have a fried egg on top, which supposedly reminds of the hats women used to wear back in the day.
I personally, love eggs, and that’s why I like better the croque madame sandwich, but the truth is they are both really alike and just as delicious.
Now, as for the bechamel sauce there is nothing better than making it at home, because it tastes so much better than the ones bought in the store. As for the bread, the best thing is to use brioche bread, because it is soft and really fluffy. So if you use a regular loaf bread instead, just make sure it is a really good bread and not as thin.
The original recipe calls for gruyere cheese, but if you don’t get it you can easily just use any other type of melting cheese, like chihuahua cheese in Mexico n la receta original se usa queso gruyere, pero si no lo consigues puedes usar queso chihuahua, por ejemplo, en México, o si estás en España puedes usar Gouda. La clave está en que sea un queso que se derrita bien, y que, por supuesto, te guste a ti.
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp all purpouse flour
- 1 C milk warm
- 1 C gruyere cheese, shredded (or gouda cheese)
- 5 tsp dijon mustard (or the type you prefer)
- 4 eggs
- 8 slices rustic loaf bread
- 8.8 oz (250 gr) black forest type ham (or the ham you prefer)
- Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
In a small pot on the stove over low heat put 2 tablespoons of butter and let it melt. Add in the flour and mix using a kitchen whisk until you get a smooth mixture. Let it boil for 1 minute mixing non-stop.
Slowly pour the milk in while still mixing and bring the heat to medium. Continue wixing and lower the heat again when the mixture starts boiling. Keep on mixing for 5 minutes until the mixture becomes thicker.
Remove the pot from the stove and add in the shredded cheese, 1 tsp mustard, salt and pepper. Mix and pour in a small bowl, then cover it with kitchen plastic wrap, making sure it touches the sauce's surface and let it cool down.
Preheat the oven to 392º F (200º C). Place the bread on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes each side.
In a big pan over medium heat, melt the rest (2 tablespoons) of butter. Cook the eggs with some salt and pepper on top for 2 minutes, the whites must be cooked and the yolks have to be a little runny still.
Spread some mustard on 4 of the bread slices on one of their sides. Put the ham slices on top and 1 tablespoon of the cheesesauce. Cover each one with the other bread slices. Place the sandwiches on the baking sheet and pour the left bechamel cheese sauce and 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese on top.
Bake the sandwiches to 392º F (200º C) for 2 minutes or until the cheese melts and then take out of the oven. Place a fried egg on top of each sandwich and serve.