The Croque Madame is a beautiful thing. Simply put, it is a ham and cheese sandwich with an egg, but in reality, it is so much more.
When made properly, the Croque Madame is a perfect food. The buttery crispiness of the bread, the slight saltiness of the ham, the subtle background of wine in the bubbly, melted swiss cheese all tied together by the rich creamy sunny side up egg…it’s truly something MAGICAL.
I make mine open faced, but it’s not inappropriate to make it closed faced.
How I make it
I butter the one side of the bread and season with salt and pepper. The bread should be a white bread; either white, potato or sourdough.
On the other side, I layer two slices of ham. The ham can be any kind you like from basic deli ham to Jamon Iberico. The better the ham, the better the sandwich.
Next, I ensure that I cover every inch of ham with swiss cheese. Again, the better the swiss cheese, the better the sandwich.
I put an oven safe pan on the stovetop, on high heat and lay the bread butter side down, into the pan. Listen for the slight sizzle of the butter, I wait 30 seconds. Next I toss the pan into the oven, under the broiler until I see the swiss cheese liquify, bubble and begin to brown.
While the cheese melts under the broiler, I quickly fry an egg.
Once the sandwich emerges from the broiler, I slide the egg on top and serve hot.
It’s a beautiful thing and a perfect pairing.