Recipes from the Grapevine Cottage

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Croque Madame Sandwich

We have always enjoyed French food, and especially liked the short-lived bistro on Mass Avenue a few years back, where one of us usually ordered the Croque Madame. Missing them, Linda found a recipe and made a few modification

Serves 4


1 ounce unsalted butter, plus some additional butter or non-stick spray for griddle work
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup whole milk
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning eggs
black pepper and white pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 slices thick, hearty bread
8 to 12 slices good quality deli ham (about 3/4 pound)
12 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated, divided
4 eggs


Toast the bread in a toaster until just lightly browned and set aside. Preheat broiler.

Make the béchamel sauce. Start by warming the milk in a microwave for about a minute. In a small saucepan, melt 1 ounce butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, stirring constantly, and cooking about 2 to 3 minutes so that it deepens in color, but do not allow it to brown. Add the warmed milk and bay leaf and cook, stirring until the mixture thickens, another 2 or 3 minutes. Add salt and several shakes of white pepper. Remove the bay leaf and stir in the Parmesan. Allow to cool. This will be thicker than a normal béchamel.

Mix together half of the Gruyere cheese and the béchamel sauce. Lightly butter one side of each slice of bread and place on griddle. Top each with 2 to 3 slices of ham. Spread a little of the sauce on top of the ham and top each with another slice of bread, again buttering the side that is up. Brown both sides of each sandwich until golden in color.

While sandwiches are grilling, fry 4 eggs, sunny side up, cooking to your preference of doneness (we like ours a little on more the done side). Spread the remaining béchamel on top of the sandwiches and top with the other half of the Gruyere cheese. Place under broiler just long enough for cheese to melt and gets a little golden. Place a fried egg on top of each sandwich and season with salt and black pepper. Serve immediately.