These are little pieces of heaven and I must thank the French wholeheartedly for inventing the croque Madame (or Monsieur - if you want to omit the egg). It's the perfect thing for a cold day and takes about 30-40 minutes to make from start to table and are great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can make one or six (or more!) it doesn't really add a lot of time to the overall timeline. You can pick up every ingredient at a deli - and if you're like me you could spend a good hour just looking at the fabulous things in the deli.
When we were in Paris in January you can imagine, after a long day of walking these were just the ticket and my Olivia has asked me a few times for the 'Fancy cheese toasties we had in France'. I like using unsliced bread and have the toast nice and thick, but you can use regular bread too.
Give them a try because it's cold or because it's Bastille Day today or just because you damned-well-feel-like it!
Ingredients: (makes 6)
1 loaf rye sour dough bread (or any uncut loaf you like)
100g gruyere cheese, grated (you can find this in supermarkets or delicatessens) - it's about 1.5 cups grated
60g parmesan cheese (1/2 cup grated)
100g leg ham
4 tb dijon mustard
2 tsp olive oil
Make your bechamel and then add 1 cup of your gruyere and all your parmesan and mix well
When melted though, set aside.
Put your oven on grill.
Cut your bread in thick slices - I cut mine about an inch thick.
Put 1/2 of your bread on a baking tray and grill on one side until golden brown. Butter it.
Then turn it over to have the uncooked side up and .add your mustard
On top of your mustard add ham and couple of spoonfuls of your bechamel, then sprinkle with little more gruyere. (about 1/2 what you have left), Then give it a good pepper.
Put your other bread on top and then grill again, take it out then pour the rest of your bechamel on top. Try to stop salivating.
Lastly sprinkle the last of your gruyere and pop under the grill again.
Whilst that's grilling add your butter and oil and heat up on your frypan until sizzling. Add your eggs and fry them sunny side up.
Keep an eye on your griller, you should take them out when they are starting to gold-up on top.
Get a egg flip and transfer on to your plate, and top with egg.. devour!
Can you believe she ate all of this!? I was kind of hoping she would leave me some leftovers!.. Que sera sera!
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