Sunday, December 21, 2014
My family has a lot of love for ham and cheese sandwiches. And fried eggs. And cheese. Lots and lots of cheese. What better way to combine all of those things than with this Croque Madame sandwich. It's typically a fried sandwich, but I baked mine. And the cheese? It's typically made with Emmental or Gruyere which are both types of Swiss cheese named after the region they are made in. I went with Emmental since I find it less salty than Gruyere and the ham in the sandwich is salty enough. This sandwich is easy to put together and is a great Sunday morning breakfast!
FOR THE SANDWICHES:
8 slices Texas toast
1/2 lb thin sliced deli ham
4 slices Emmental cheese (or Swiss) plus reserved shredded cheese
Butter, for frying the eggs
Salt & pepper, to taste
FOR THE SAUCE:
2 T butter
2 T flour
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 c shredded Parmesan cheese
1 C shredded Emmental cheese (or Swiss) (reserve 1/4 C for the tops of the sandwiches)
1 1/2 C half and half
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt & pepper, to taste
NOTE: You will need some reserved shredded cheese and the sauce to put on the tops of the sandwiches, so keep that in mind when you are assembling them.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the bread on a sheet pan and toast them 5 minutes on each side. Remove them from the oven. Leave them on the sheet pan when you remove them from the oven. Preheat the broiler.
Meanwhile, for the sauce, melt the butter in a small pot. Whisk in the flour. Whisk in the half and half, Dijon, garlic powder, and salt & pepper, to taste. When it gets thick and starts bubbling, turn the heat off and whisk in the Parmesan and Emmental in small handfuls until it's completely melted and smooth. (Don't forget to reserve some Emmental for the tops.)
Spread some Dijon on 4 of the bread slices. Top with one slice of cheese. Pile on some ham. Spread a little sauce on top of each. (Don't forget to reserve some sauce for the tops.) Top with the other 4 slices of bread. Spread more sauce on the top piece of bread and top with the reserved shredded Emmental cheese. Put the sheet pan under the broiler and broil until the cheese on top melts and starts to brown.
Meanwhile (and don't take your eyes off the broiling sandwiches for too long), melt some butter in a pan and fry the eggs to desired doneness. Serve each sandwich hot with a fried egg on top.