Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Croque Madame

Right after Anya turned one, we took a family trip to Paris. It's only about a 4 hour drive from where we live, so we had a fun little road trip. The drive there wasn't bad, but I will NEVER drive in Paris again! Paris has some of the craziest drivers I have ever seen! We were even sideswiped by a taxi on our way to the hotel. Lucky for us we drive a SUV, so the taxi only hit our tire. But it was still scary!

One of my favorite things about Paris was the food. (Kind of a DUH statement, right?) I would love to go back if only for the pastries! Nathan's favorite food while we were there was the Croque Madame. It is a grilled cheese sandwich on steroids topped with a fried egg. You could also get it without the egg (Croque Monsieur).

I had forgotten all about that sandwich until I saw it on The Way the Cookie Crumbles. I bookmarked the recipe knowing that I HAD to make it for Nathan when he was home on R&R. He was so excited when I told him what I was making for breakfast and he loved it. It turned out really well and it tasted so similar to Paris. YUM!

Croque Madame
Makes 4 servings

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1½ cups whole milk
⅛ teaspoon salt
pinch teaspoon black pepper
pinch teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ cup (1 ounce) shredded swiss cheese
4 slices (1.5 ounces) sliced swiss cheese
8 slices firm white sandwich bread
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ pound thinly sliced cooked ham
4 large eggs

1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 1- to 1½-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, then whisk in flour and cook roux, whisking, for 1 minute. Whisk in milk and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking occasionally, for 5 minutes. Whisk in salt, pepper, nutmeg, and shredded cheese until cheese is melted. Remove from heat. Stir occasionally while preparing sandwiches to keep hard surface from forming on top of sauce. (Alternatively, place plastic wrap directly on surface of sauce.)
2. Adjust an oven rack to the top position and heat the broiler. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
3. Spread 1 tablespoon sauce evenly over each of 4 slices of bread, then cover evenly with remaining cheese. Spread mustard evenly on remaining 4 bread slices and top with ham, dividing it evenly, then invert onto cheese-topped bread to form sandwiches.
4. Melt ½ tablespoon butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add the sandwiches and cook until golden, 3-4 minutes. Remove sandwiches from pan, add remaining ½ tablespoon butter, and return sandwiches, unbrowned side down, to pan. Cook until golden on second side. Transfer sandwiches to prepared baking pan. Do not wash skillet.
5. Top sandwiches with remaining sauce, spreading evenly. Broil sandwiches until sauce is bubbling and golden in spots, 2 to 4 minutes.
6. While sandwiches are broiling, heat the same nonstick pan over medium heat. Spray the pan with nonstick spray if there’s not butter leftover from browning the sandwiches. Crack eggs into skillet and season with salt and pepper. Fry eggs, covered, until whites are just set and yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes. Top each sandwich with a fried egg and serve immediately.


Bunny said...

I remember seeing this on the Foodnetwork,I think on Giada's traveling show. I really wanted to try it, thanks Cristine. It looks so good!

Ingrid said...

Sounds good but I'd have to have mine sans egg. Just can't stomach fried eggs! :-) My kids on the other had love the gooey runny yolk,YIKES!

HoneyB said...

I would have to go for the Croque Monsieur! I have a hard time with eggs, but the rest sounds awesome!

Megan said...

This sounds delicious. I would definitly take it with the egg!

Reeni♥ said...

That looks so delicious!! And I haven't eaten breakfast or lunch, yet!! I think I know what I'm having for brunch, yummy!

The Blonde Duck said...

I stopped in from Ingrid's blog to say hi! This looks fabulous!

Maria said...

Nice looking sandwich!

J.Danger said...

you are such a fantastic wife! You make me ashamed of myself!

The McBride Family said...

I can NOT WAIT for Saturday!!! So yummy!!

Spryte said...

That looks so good!! Just today I was trying to remember what was in that!

Nathan said...

Absoulety wonderful, don't let the egg scare you you will be plesently suprised. Thanks again love for always spoiling me.:)

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