Wednesday, August 3, 2011

French Cooking 101 - Croque Madame

Well its been too long since I last blogged.  Summer schedule, kitchen renovations, and other hindrances have taken over.  But no more!  Time to get back blogging about yummy restaurants and great recipes!  I'm almost to 100 blogs!!

You are gonna just love this!  It is a french version of a ham and cheese that is unbeatable!  This sandwich can be served two ways.  A Croque Monsieur (without a fried egg on top) or a Croque Madame (with fried egg).  Go for the egg!! 

It is typically served on thick white bread but I used Publix's multigrain which was excellent for this.  For this sandwich you make a bechamel sauce (milk, butter, and flour) which is harder to spell than to make.  Add some Gruyere cheese (french swiss cheese) and now you have mornay sauce.  This is a french classic not to be feared.  Great for breakfast, lunch, or supper!

Croque Madame

Sliced loaf of bakery bread (white or multigrain)
4t Dijon mustard
1lb shaved ham
1 1/2 c shredded Gruyere cheese (find in the deli section)
5T butter (plus some for griddling the sandwiches)
3T AP flour
2c milk
1/8 t nutmeg

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and whisk in the flour.  Cook for just about 30 seconds to remove the raw flavor of the flour.  Whisk in the milk removing any lumps.  Add 1/2c of the cheese, nutmeg, and then salt/pepper to taste.  Set aside.  (By the way, any leftover sauce can be refrigerated and used again)  Make four sandwiches dividing up the ham and cheese.  Add mustard to one slice of breach and the sauce to the other slice.  Griddle the sandwiches in butter until nice and toasty.  Place the sandwiches on a cookie sheet and top liberally with the sauce.  Put under the broiler until bubbly and browned.  Fry an egg to top each sandwich.