Sunday, March 20, 2011

Croque Madame Sandwiches

Mike was sitting around on Saturday morning watching Food Network (we are both obsessed) and Alex's Day off was on and she was making these little puppies.  He said he was drooling while watching.  I have to make my man happy, right?  So, we put it on the menu for the week.  When I read through the recipe, it was right up my alley.  It had the two components I look for in a weekday meal...easy and quick! 

These little sandwiches are ooey, gooey, cheesey, creamy, rich, meaty wonders.  It stimulates your senses and you never know what the next bite is going to taste like.  It is a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, with creamy cheese sauce and topped with an egg.  The masterpiece bite contains a little bit of the egg, cheese sauce, ham and a bit of bread.  Open up wide because even when you eat this with a knife and fork, it is a big bite!

What you need:

  • 2 tbs butter plus more for buttering the bread
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1 c milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt
  • 1/4 c parmasean cheese
  • 2 c Swiss or Gruyere
  • ham
  • sour dough bread
  • eggs (equal to the number of sandwiches you are making)

In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter.  

When the butter is melted, add in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes.  

Make sure you whisk frequently; you don't want this to burn.

Slowly mix in the milk and whisk constantly to prevent lumps.

Put the bay leaf into the mixture

 Let simmer over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes until mixture thickens.  Whisk occasionally.

When thick, add in Parmesan and stir

When the Parm in incorporated, add in a cup of Swiss cheese.  I find doing figure 8s in the bowl helps get a very smooth cheese mixture.  Salt to taste.

Cut the sour dough into thick slices and place about 3-4 (or if you are a hungry man like Mike, add 5-6) pieces of ham.

Smear the cheese sauce onto the sour dough and place cheese sauce side onto ham.  Put a good amount on.

Melt two more tbs of butter in a large skillet and place sandwiches in and brown on both sides.  It would also be good to butter the bread before putting it in the pan to make sure both sides have the same about of butter to help brown.

When both sides are browned, put sandwiches on a cookie sheet and top with more of the cheese sauce.

and put a layer of Swiss on top.

Place under the broiler BUT, keep an eye on it!  Things go from beautifully browned to burnt in seconds!  You have come so far, you don't want to ruin your sandwiches now!  Once the cheese is browned, pull them out and set aside until the eggs are done.

While the the sandwiches are under the broiler, wipe out the skillet you used to brown the sandwiches and cook the eggs over easy.

If you are wondering why there are three eggs when I am making only two sandwiches, it is because I live with a growing boy.  He needed another egg with this already very filling sandwich.  Gotta love my bottomless pit.

Place the eggs on top of the sandwiches.

I like to break the egg so each bit can get a little bit of yolk.

I attempted to eat this like a sandwich but it was too intimidating.  So, I used a knife and fork but, it was still REALLY messy!  Have plenty of napkins around! Because of all of the different components to this sandwich, it has universal appeal.  It works perfectly for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and would even be a perfect midnight snack.

This sandwich is so filling!  I couldn't finish mine, Mike got the rest of my sandwich too.  It is really good!  I knew that they egg on top is a little weird but, it works!  The cheese sauce is amazing, I had to bat Mike's hand away multiple times, he kept dipping bread pieces into it.  

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