Thursday, January 10, 2008


There's really nothing more conforting than a grilled cheese sandwich. For a light supper however, a grilled ham & cheese is both comforting and satisfying. The French call this a Croque-monsier. I am not sure of the exact translation, but if you add a fried egg to the top it becomes a Crooque-madame.

The traditional recipe uses brioche and if you can find that, it makes a superior sandwich. Challah will work, or just a good crusty french bread. Many recipes also call for a Mornay sauce (a creamy cheese sauce), but I think the runny yoke is all the sauce you'll need.

Croque-madame (for two)
Four thick slices of bread (brioche, challah or french)
1 cup grated cheese (gruyere is tradtional, I mix gruyere with cheddar or Beecher's)
6-8 slices Black Forest Ham
2-3 Tablespoons butter
2 eggs
salt & pepper

Pile the grated cheese and ham between two slices of bread. Gernerously butter both sides of the bread. Place sandwiches into a nonstick skillet on medium-low. Slowly cook the sandwiches until golden brown and flip to cook the other side. It is important to cook the sandwiches slowly so the cheese melts before the bread gets too browned.

Once the sanwiches are golden and the cheese is melted, remove from the pan onto plates to "rest" while you fry the eggs. Incread the heat to medium and place 1 tablesppon of butter into the pan. Fry the eggs until the whites are opaque, sprinkling with salt & pepper while they cook. Gently flip the eggs and cook on the other side for 10-20 seconds (until the whites around the yolk feel firm, but the yolks are still soft to the touch). Flip each egg - yolk side up - onto each sandwich. Serve immediately.

No comments: