The sandwich is one of those universal foods where everyone has their own favorite version of what a good sandwich is. From simple fillings like peanut butter and jelly to exotic sandwich like Bánh mì (Vietnamese sandwich) with pâté fillings, there is something for everyone.
Today we are making croque madame sandwich which is a French grilled ham and cheese sandwich with egg. The secret that makes this sandwich extra delicious is the use of mornay sauce (or béchamel sauce if you prefer) for that extra creaminess which you can’t find by using the likes of mayo or other regular spread. The version of this sandwich without eggs is called croque monsieur. Traditionally, this sandwich is made with pain de mie (a type of French bread that is a little sweet and perfect for sandwich-making) but we can use any bread we have at home.
On first bite you can taste the creamy mornay sauce which complements the crispiness of our toasted bread extremely well. The runny egg yolk also provides an extra layer of flavor for our ham which was bound with the sweet and salty gruyère cheese. I like to add cayenne pepper and paprika to our egg to add an extra depth of flavor as well.
Before we assemble our sandwich, we have to first make the mornay sauce. In order to do that, we need to make our roux.
In order to make our roux, we just mix in 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of all-purpose flour together. This will act as thickening agent to our mornay sauce.
Once the roux is mixed in together, we would slowly mixed in 3/4 cup of milk and cook until it thickens up. Then we add dijon mustard, nutmeg, salt, pepper, as well as the grated gruyère cheese into the mixture. Take off heat and let stand to cool.
With the sauce completed, we can now move on to the sandwich. First, let’s brush some melted butter on both sides of our bread and toast in the oven for about 5 minutes. You might need to flip the bread halfway through.
Once our bread is toasted, we can start assembling the sandwich.
First, start with dijon mustard on the base, add sliced gruyère cheese, ham, and another layer of cheese. This will help bind the sandwich together.
Once assembled, we want to slather the mornay sauce on top and sprinkle with more gruyère and parmesan cheese. I am extremely liberal on the amount as the more the merrier in this case.
Then we want to pop this in a broiler for about 5-7 minutes depending on the heat. We want to see our cheese bubbled and caramelized before taking them out.
While our sandwich is in the broiler, we can make the sunny side up. I cooked it until the white part is set and yolk still runny. Add salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne for extra layer of flavor.
Check on our sandwich and it should look like below… Without the egg, this is called a croque monsieur sandwich and also extremely delicious.
Pop the egg on top and serve while hot.
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup milk
- ½ tsp Dijon mustard
- Nutmeg (to taste)
- Gruyère cheese sliced
- Gruyère cheese grated
- Parmesan cheese grated
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 4 slices of bread
- 1 tbsp melted butter
- 4 slices Ham
- 2 eggs
- Salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika to taste
- Melt butter and add all-purpose flour to form our roux
- Slowly add milk while whisking
- Add dijon mustard, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and our grated cheeses
- Cook until sauce thickens and bubbling
- Set aside to cool
- Brush melted butter on both sides of our bread.
- Toast for 4-5 minutes
- Spread some dijon mustard (to taste) on the bottom
- Add sliced Gruyère cheese
- Add Ham
- Add another layer of sliced Gruyère cheese
- Slather mornay sauce on top
- Sprinkle the remaining gruyère and parmesan cheese on top
- Pop in broiler for about 5-7 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and carmelized
- Cook sunny side up and season with salt, pepper, cayenne, and paprika
- Pop the egg on top of sandwich
- Serve while hot.