July 20, 2014
Salty ham, melted cheese and a runny fried egg with toast may be one of the best combinations for a comforting breakfast meal. However, the same basic combination, when elevated to another level, becomes Croque Madame. It's basically Croque Monsieur made more special with a fried egg on top. Bechamel sauce, which can be made ahead, plays an important part in this classic French sandwich.
Start off with a few slices of good quality soft bread. I used my favorite challah bread which I bake at home :-) To assemble the sandwiches, spread bechamel sauce on the bread slices then the layer ham and grated cheese. Pile a generous helping of grated Gruyere cheese on top.
Bake the sandwiches until toasted with the cheese melted and dripping along the sides, as shown above.
Top with fried egg and serve hot. Recipe for bechamel sauce can be found in The Kitchn website. As suggested, the bechamel may be adjusted to a slightly thicker consistency that's more spreadable than saucy.