Croque Madame: The French Grilled Cheese


best-all3.jpgIn France, Croque Madame is a toasted ham and cheese sandwich with the addition of a simple white cream sauce and fried egg. The Croque Monsieur is the same, but without the egg. This creamy, cheesy, slightly salty, flavorful French delight originated in French cafés and bars as a quick snack or lunch. Typically, Emmental or Gruyère cheese is used.

The name is based on the verb croquer (“to crunch”) and the word monsieur (“mister”). This well-known, countrywide sandwich’s first recorded appearance on a Parisian café menu was in 1910. Croque Monsieur and Madame, in France, are as common to the French as grilled cheese is to us Americans; still served in café’s everywhere in France today.

Makes 2 servings; can be doubled

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup each of grated Parmesan and Gruyere cheeses
  • 4 slices firm white sandwich bread
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced Black Forest ham
  • 4 ounces sliced Gruyère cheese
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 fried eggs, over easy

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Directions:

  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir 1-2 minute. You’ve just made a roux!
  • Gradually whisk in milk. Add nutmeg and bay leaf.
  • Increase heat to medium-high and boil until sauce thickens, whisking constantly, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove bay leaf. Add grated Parmesan and Gruyere, stir until combined.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Preheat broiler.
  • Place 2 bread slices on work surface.
  • Spread each half with Dijon, ham and sliced Gruyère.
  • Top with remaining bread.
  • Heat heavy large skillet over low heat.
  • Brush sandwiches with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Add to skillet and cook until deep golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. I use a Panini press. Transfer to small baking sheet.
  • Spoon sauce, then grated cheese over sandwiches.
  • Broil until cheese begins to brown, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Top with fried egg and chives. I used fresh thyme for the photos.

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23 Comments Add yours

  1. I fell in love with this delicacy the first time I ordered it in a cafe in Paris. Thank you for such a beautiful visual! 🍓

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Gail! You are most welcome! I imagine savoring one of these beauties in the French air makes them taste so much better 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This sandwich is one of my favorite things ever. EVER. And yours looks amazing 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! Oh mine too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Looks amazing. It’s my favorite sandwich, though I don’t let myself have it too often, for obvious reasons… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Ronit! Oh mine too! Yes, they are a rare indulgence, but savored bite after bite 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. To die for!!! Yum yum!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, dear Freda!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh wow, I am sure it is so tasty but wow, the calories! lol. Happy Cinco de Mayo Lana!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You got it sister! lol! Flavor & calorie packed!! 🙂 Thanks, Kathryn!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I absolutely love this sandwich… Your recipe has me craving one! Thanks for posting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! You are more than welcome! It’s one of my favorites too!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Osyth says:

    I have eaten far to many of these in my life but never actually made one – I feel the need to rectify …. I’m entering the kitchen, I may be some time because one will NOT surfice 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One is wonderful & two is bliss, Osyth! Dare we attempt it?? Thanks, my sweet friend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Osyth says:

        We dare. We win. We diet 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  8. This sounds like the ultimate best Lana. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lynne, may I simply say it’s almost too good?? Thanks, sweet friend! xoxo

      Like

  9. This sure looks tasty! A very rich and delicious treat!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks you, Lynn! It’s an occasional indulgence with not TOO much guilt 🙂 ♥

      Liked by 1 person

  10. One of my favorites! Croque Monsieur was the first bite I had in Paris. We had just arrived and were wandering around St. Germain des Pres and stopped at a little café, et voila! Now you have me craving Madame!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Jean! What a wonderful gift your husband gave you! Experiencing Madame in Paris had to be the ultimate experience!

      Liked by 1 person

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