I’ve been to France twice, and whenever I go, I look forward to getting what just might be the world’s most perfect sandwich: the croque madame. Sure, the croque monsieur is great, but there’s just something about a fried egg that you can’t beat. Allow me to explain. A croque monsieur is a popular sandwich in France, and it’s extremely simple to make. All it is is a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, usually with a slice of cheese melted on top of the top piece of bread. The cheese on a croque monsieur is typically gruyère, but I like swiss better, so that’s what I used. It’s served almost everywhere and, in my opinion, goes particularly well with a bowl of French onion soup or pomme frite (french fries). There are many different ways to dress up your croque monsieur. There’s the croque norvégien, which features smoked salmon instead of ham, the croque provençal, which adds a tomato, or, my favorite, the croque madame, which features a fried egg on top of the classic sandwich. I’ve said it over and over again; egg yolk is nature’s most perfect sauce, and this fact is quite evident in the croque madame. One of my new favorite blogs is Waffleizer, and that’s where I got the inspiration to waffle my croque madame, a sandwich that I usually just made in a frying pan until now. Waffling the sandwich took it to a whole new level, as the cheese melted perfectly and the bread was wonderfully crisp. I could have tried to waffle the egg, but I’m not quite that brave…yet. If you don’t have a waffle maker, don’t worry! You can just as easily fry this traditional French sandwich in a pan on the stove. Either way, I highly recommend that you give this a shot, for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It couldn’t be easier to make and it definitely couldn’t be tastier.
Your ingredients couldn’t be more simple!
Butter the outsides of the slices of bread so they don’t stick to the waffle maker or the frying pan. Spread on side of the inside of the bread with a light layer of mayonnaise (optional) and layer the cheese and ham. Place the sandwich inside the waffle maker and press down, allowing to cook for 5 minutes or so, until the bread is golden and crispy and the cheese is nice and melted. Alternatively, you can do this in a hot frying pan, cooking for 5-8 minutes on each side, until crisp. You can also melt a slice of cheese on top of the top layer of bread, but I didn’t want it to get stuck in my waffle maker.
Fry the egg in a frying pan for 5 minutes or so over medium heat, until the whites are somewhat firm (I made my egg over easy). Dig in!
- 4 slices white, buttermilk, or sourdough bread
- 8 teaspoons butter
- 10 slices of ham
- 4 slices of swiss or gruyère cheese
- 2 eggs
- Begin to heat your waffle maker or your frying pan. Butter the outsides of all of the slices of bread. Build your sandwich, with 5 slices of ham in each and 2 slices of cheese (or more of each, if you like). Place the sandwich in the waffle maker or the frying pan. Press down and cook for 5 minutes in the waffle maker, or 5-8 minutes on each side in the frying pan, until the bread is crisp and golden and the cheese is melted.
- While the sandwich cooks, fry your egg in a separate pan until the whites are somewhat firm (I did my egg over easy). When the sandwich is ready, move it to a plate and top with your fried egg. Serves 2.