The traditional Croque Madame is the perfect example of comfort food. Trust the French to take a grilled cheese sandwich, and top it with not just a spoonful of creamy béchamel, but also a perfectly fried egg too. I’ve jazzed it up a little bit more by using a delicious mornay…which is like béchamel, except it has cheese. And I think we agree, cheese always wins.
I’ll be completely honest with you; I don’t ask for a lot when it comes to sandwiches. It doesn’t take much to win me over. A nice slice of bread, a little butter, and some strawberry jam. And I’m yours. But if you made me a this less-than-traditional Croque Madame, I’d probably write a sonnet praising your magnificence.
Do you know the difference between a Croque Madame and Croque Monsieur? I could tell you. Okay, I will tell you! It’s an egg. An egg is placed on top of a Croque Madame, and not the Croque Monsieur (it’s because women have eggs and men don’t… oooh, biology. We’re science-ing today, bestie!).
And if we’re talking proper traditional, Croque Madame is typically stuffed with ham. I don’t eat ham, so I’m using chicken slices instead. The chicken works incredibly well with the mornay sauce. Seriously, part of me doesn’t even want to write anymore. I just want to give you the recipe!
I’d be amiss if I didn’t tell you to check out my Almost-Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich recipe; it’s one of the most popular recipes on my blog, and was even featured by Cosmopolitan UK! If grilled cheese is your thing (and I think it is), you’ll know what to do.
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- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 ½ tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 ½ tbsp all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup Gruyère cheese, grated
- 1 tbsp of Cream Cheese
- Salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste and a pinch of paprika.
- 2 slices of Pumpernickel Rye Bread, buttered and toasted.
- 2 large slices Gruyère
- 3 slices Chicken sandwich meat
- Mornay sauce
- Dijon mustard
- 1 cup Gruyère cheese, grated
- ¼ cup Parmesan, grated
- 1 Large Egg
- Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Mix in flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the begins to bubbles. Do not let it brown; about a minute. Add milk, continuing to whisk as the mixture thickens. Bring to a boil and cook for two minutes while whisking continuously on a medium heat. Remove from the heat. Mix in cheeses. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste, and add a pinch of paprika.
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Dot toasted bread with mornay sauce. Add a slice of cheese, some Dijon mustard and cover with chicken then add a second layer of cheese. Coat the second slice of bread with mornay, flip over the chicken to seal the sandwich. Cover the sandwich generously with more sauce and top with grated Gruyere and parmesan.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Finish under the broiler on High for 5 minutes.
- Fry an egg, season with salt, pepper and paprika. Slide fried egg over the baked Croque Madame.