Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame

Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame

  • 4 slices bread
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced ham
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Gruyere cheese (or your favorite cheese)
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk (or a combination of skim milk and half 'n' half), warmed
  • coarse salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • olive oil, for the griddle
  • 2 eggs (optional - w/o eggs, this sandwich is a Croque Monsieur; w/ eggs, it's a Croque Madame)

Place two slices of bread on a cutting board.  Sprinkle with half the grated cheese, then add the sliced ham, the rest of the cheese, and the other slices of bread.  Set aside.

To make the Bechamel Sauce, in a small, non-stick skillet or saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Sprinkle the flour into the pan.  Cook the mixture, whisking constantly, for 2-3 minutes to create a roue which will thicken the sauce.  Very slowly add the warm milk and/or cream, whisking to smooth out the sauce.  Continue to cook over medium heat for 5-6 minutes, whisking constantly.  Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.  Reduce heat to low, and set aside.

Preheat a griddle to 350.  Brush lightly with olive oil.  Grill the sandwiches until golden brown on one side.  After flipping the sandwiches, drop the whole eggs onto the griddle;  fry the eggs until the whites are set.

To assemble the sandwich, place the grilled sandwiches on plates.  Spoon the Bechamel sauce over the sandwiches and top with the fried egg.  Sprinkle with a little cracked black pepper and serve immediately.

Yields 2 sandwiches.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen