As it turns out, it's not just Americans who eat fatty comfort food; the French do it too. The Croque Madame, like the Croque Monsieur, is a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, but it also has an egg. This recipe comes from executive chef Ryan Hildebrand from Bistro Don Camillo, which opened a year ago and serves the food of Nice, France.
The recipe, after the jump.
2 slices (approx. 2 ounces) "picnic" ham, sliced thin 2 slices (approx. 2 ounces) Swiss cheese, sliced thin 2 slices white bread, Toasted 1 ounce Béchamel, recipe to follow 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated 2 eggs 1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon olive oil
5 teaspoons butter 4 teaspoons all purpose flour 4 cups milk 2 teaspoons salt ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ground ¼ teaspoon white pepper, ground
For the sauce:
1. In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over low heat until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Increase the heat to medium and cook until the mixture is a light golden brown.
2. In a separate pan, heat the milk until almost boiling. Add the milk, one cup at a time, to the butter flour mixture whisking continuously. Once fully combined and smooth, return to medium heat and simmer ten minutes. Remove and season. Allow to cool and set aside.
3. Spread the béchamel equally on both slices of bread. Add ham and Swiss cheese. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top. Bake in a 350-degree oven until Parmesan cheese is melted and sandwich is warm throughout.
4. In a small nonstick pan, heat oil and butter until the butter is slightly brown. Add the egg and cook until the white is set. Flip and cook briefly. Remove and reserve.
5. Take the sandwich from the oven, plate and top with egg. Season with cracked black pepper if desired. Serve immediately.