I love a Croque Madame. This French grilled ham and cheese with an egg on top can be made in a ton of different ways: from fancier versions smothered in decadent bechamel sauce to simpler sandwiches like the one I made here, which is essentially a dressed up grilled cheese sandwich. The thing they all have in common is that they are rich and delicious. This knife and fork sandwich is perfect for brunch, but also makes a delicious breakfast, lunch, or paired with a simple green salad, a really satisfying dinner.
My Croque Madame was as rich as you would want and expect and it got it's great flavor from the combination of a few simple ingredients: applewood smoked ham, nutty gruyere cheese, and tangy spicy Colman's Mustard. This is not your typical yellow mustard, my friends. I was totally surprised by the zesty bold flavor of this English-style yellow mustard. It's an excellent substitute for Dijon because it has that similar intensity, but with a more pure mustard flavor. And it was a perfect addition to this Croque Madame because it cut the richness of the cheesy eggy buttery goodness. I'm thinking it would be fabulous in the summertime with sausage and onions right off the grill too!
These sandwiches are easy to prepare and are a meal in themselves, so this was the perfect brunch to tuck into after a busy and early morning out and about!
- 4 thick slices of good crusty bread *I used a French country loaf
- 1 Tbs. Colman's Mustard
- 1 Tbs. mayonnaise
- 4 oz. thinly sliced smoked ham
- 1/2 cup shredded gruyere cheese
- 3 Tbs. butter, divided
- 2 eggs
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
To assemble sandwiches, spread 1/2 Tbs. butter evenly on the outside of each bread slice. For each sandwich, spread mustard on the inside of one slice of bread (buttered side out) and spread the mayonnaise on the inside of the other slice. On top of the mustard layer, sprinkle one quarter of the gruyere cheese, layer with half of the ham slices, and top with another quarter of the gruyere. Place the second slice of bread on top with the mayonnaise side facing in. Repeat with second sandwich.
Place both sandwiches carefully in the hot skillet and cover. Cook for about 4 minutes or until cheese begins to melt and the bottom side is golden brown. Gently flip the sandwich over, cover again, and cook for another 2-3 minutes until golden.
Remove from skillet and transfer each sandwich to its own plate.
Meanwhile, heat a nonstick skillet over medium low heat. Add 1/2 Tbs. butter, allow it to melt, and spread the butter evenly around the pan. Crack the eggs into the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the white are completely opaque and the yolk is set, but still runny.
Place an egg on top of each sandwich and serve immediately with a knife and fork.
Editor's Note: Samples of Colman's Mustard were provided to me at no cost to facilitate this post. All opinions expressed herein are my own.