February 13, 2012

Croque Madame

Nothing says Paris to me like enjoying a Croque Madame at a cafe by the Tour Eiffel... and that's what I was doing when I took this picture in March, 2009!  Imagine my excitement when my French colleague, Ornella, brought in homemade Croque Monsieurs and shared her recipe with me.  Merci, Ornella!

I was even more excited to find out she had a shortcut to making the bechamel sauce that typically is in the croque monsieur / madame.  A croque monsieur is a ham and cheese toasted sandwich with a creamy bechamel sauce.  Add a fried egg for a croque madame!  Here is the full on recipe that I will try next time, thanks to Epicurious. 

What's in the fridge:
2 slices of bread (in my case 3... one for backup)
2 slices of ham
2 slices swiss cheese
3/4 cup milk
shredded cheese (motz this time, but any white cheese will do)
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste

- Preheat the oven to 375
- Salt and pepper the milk
- Soak both slices of break in the milk so they are damp.  I soaked them too much, which led to a soggy bottom of the sandwich.  I threw that piece out and replaced with another slice of bread, buttered.
- Make the sandwich with the slices of ham and swiss - and place in the oven for about 20 minutes (until the bread is hard)
Sandwich in the oven
- Fry an egg while the sandwich is cooking.
- When the sandwich is done, add shredded cheese on top, the egg, and then some more shredded cheese over the egg. 

Never too much fromage!
- After adding the cheese, place the sandwich under the broiler for about 5 minutes.  Keep an eye on it, you want it just slightly browned.  It browns very quickly!
- That's all! I like a Croque Madame with a small side salad, just how they serve it in that small cafe in Paris :)

Bon appetit, mes amis!

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