I hate doing dishes. And now that both my kids are away at school, I have less help in the kitchen than I used to. Very rarely will I drag out more than two pans to make anything. This recipe, however, takes at least three pans. While it’s not hard to make, Croque Madame is an oh-so-worth-it hassle.
- 4 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 8 slices firm white sandwich bread
- ½ lb. thinly sliced Boar’s Head Tavern ham
- 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese, divided
- 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
- 3 Tbsp. flour
- 2 cups milk
- ½ tsp. kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning the eggs
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black peppercorns, plus extra for seasoning the eggs
- 1 dash ground nutmeg
- 4 eggs
Spread mustard evenly on one side of four slices of bread; top evenly with ham and ⅔ of the cheese. Set aside. In a small saucepan, melt 3 Tbsp. butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour; cook for 3 minutes. Whisk in milk; bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low; simmer, whisking occasionally, for 5 minutes. Whisk in salt, pepper, nutmeg and remaining cheese until cheese is melted; remove from heat. Spread 1 ½ Tbsp. sauce evenly on the remaining slices of bread; sandwich with other halves. In a nonstick skillet, melt 1 Tbsp. butter over medium-low heat; cook sandwiches until golden (3–4 minutes), turning once. Move to a baking sheet; spread ⅓ cup sauce on the top of each hot sandwich. Broil sandwiches until sauce is bubbling and golden in spots (2–3 minutes). While sandwiches broil, melt remaining butter in the skillet over medium heat until foam subsides. Crack eggs into skillet; season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook eggs, covered, until whites are just set and yolks are still runny (about 3 minutes). Top each warm sandwich with an egg; serve immediately.
Rachael Perron is the culinary and branding director for Kowalski’s Markets, where she specializes in product development and selection, culinary education and communications. Find more at kowalskis.com.