Background and History
Croque Madame, a classic French bistro dish, is a decadent variation of the Croque Monsieur. Originating in France, this sandwich became popular in the early 20th century and is renowned for its irresistible combination of ham, Gruyère cheese, béchamel sauce, and a perfectly fried or poached egg on top.
4 slices of bread (white or brioche)
4 slices ham
1 1/2 cups Gruyère cheese, grated
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Dijon mustard (optional, for spreading)
Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
Prepare Béchamel Sauce
In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk to form a roux. Gradually add milk, stirring continuously until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Lay out the bread slices. Spread Dijon mustard on half of the slices (optional).
Place a slice of ham on each non-mustard-covered slice, followed by a generous sprinkle of Gruyère cheese. Top with the remaining slices to create sandwiches.
Pour a layer of béchamel sauce over each sandwich, ensuring an even coating.
Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 400°F (200°C) for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Fry or Poach Eggs
While the sandwiches bake, fry or poach eggs according to your preference.
Top with Eggs
Once the sandwiches are out of the oven, place a fried or poached egg on top of each.
Garnish and Serve
Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve immediately.
(Per Serving – based on 4 servings)
Croque Madame is traditionally made with Gruyère cheese, but you can experiment with other melting cheeses.
Adjust the thickness of the béchamel sauce to your liking.
Serve with a side salad for a well-balanced meal.
Check bread ingredients for potential allergens.
Confirm the ingredients in ham for any allergy concerns.
Adjust the recipe to accommodate lactose intolerance if necessary.