Croque Madame sandwiches are comforting, decadent, over the top brunch sandwiches with a creamy gruyere mornay sauce and sunny side up eggs!
Honey, is the only thing you can make a grilled cheese sandwich and you want to impress your significant other who keeps teasing you that all you can make is a grilled cheese sandwich?
Well, you’re in luck, because a Croque Madame is the fanciest and probably the most delicious grilled cheese sandwich you’ll ever eat.
What’s a croque madame?
It’s like a ham and cheese sandwich and a grilled cheese sandwich got married, won the lottery, took a trip to Paris, had a baby, and that baby grew up really, really bougie in the best way possible.
These croque madame sandwiches are made with brioche bread, which is a rich, French, egg-and-butter-based bread that is extremely soft, buttery, and even just a touch sweet.
Thin slices of honey ham are layered with a generous spread of that mornay sauce and little mountains of Gruyere (Swiss and Parmesan are also classics on a croque madame), then browned in a pan.
Take those babies onto a baking sheet, pour the rest of that creamy sauce on top of them. Be generous!
As I said in my patty melt recipe, crust to crust is a must! I love adding more of that shredded Gruyere, too. I used Red Apple Cheese’s apple-wood smoked gruyere cheese (not sponsored btw), but I loved the flavor. If you can find some smoked gruyere, snatch it up! Your grilled cheese sandwich loving mind will be blown!
Then the croque madames are placed under the broiler while some sunny side up eggs are sizzling on the stove top to give our now browned and bubbly cheese sauce its little hat (croque madame sandwiches are called that because the egg looks like a lady’s little hat) and it’s absolutely delicious.
Worried about this mornay sauce? I’ll break it down for you, it’s really simple, I promise.
A mornay is simply a cheesy bechamel, or that white sauce often used in mac and cheese. Whisk flour and fat together, then splash in milk until the sauce is smooth. Let the sauce thicken until it’s nappe, or is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and stays separated when you run a finger down the spoon.
Take the bechamel off the heat, and add your freshly shredded gruyere cheese, whisking the cheese in well. If it starts getting a little too thick, add a little milk to help loosen it up. You’ll be left with a creamy, cheesy, mornay sauce.
Croque madame sammies are really rich, so while they are a once in a while brunch dish, they are ones that wow the crowd every. single. time.
Wanna talk about a grilled cheese sandwich? That’s a grilled cheese sandwich.
Look at these amazing brunch recipes!
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- Deli-sliced ham
- 1/2 cup gruyere cheese, freshly grated
- 4 thick slices brioche bread, toasted
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1 1/4 cup milk
- tiny pinch of nutmeg
- kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup gruyere cheese, freshly grated
In a saucepan, melt butter and add flour. Whisk constantly for about a minute. After about 2 minutes or when the mixture becomes bubbly, slowly add in milk.
Keep whisking until nappe *see notes*. Season with salt, pepper, and freshly ground nutmeg. Take off the heat, then add 1/2 cup of gruyere cheese, whisking until the cheese is fully melted and the sauce is thick and creamy. If the sauce gets a little too thick, add a splash or two of milk and whisk to thin to the correct consistency. Set aside.
Preheat broiler on low.
On a baking sheet, layer two of the toasted brioche with your preferred amount of ham. Add a hearty dollop or two of the mornay sauce on top of the ham, then sprinkle a little gruyere.
Top with the other two bread slices, then generously cover the sandwiches with the mornay sauce and residual gruyere, if you have any left.
Place the baking sheet with sandwiches under the broiler. Leave to cook for about 3 minutes or until the bechamel sauce is browned. Keep a close eye on it, DO NOT LET IT BURN.
While the sandwiches are cooking, melt butter in a non-stick pan. Crack two eggs into two separate small bowls and add into the pan one by one. Cook for 3 minutes with a lid. Whites should be just set and the yolks should be runny, bonus points for no brown edges. Season with salt and pepper.
Carefully take the sandwiches out of the broiler and plate, topping each sandwich with a fried egg. Serve immediately.
Nappe basically means until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and stay separate when you run your finger down the sauce on the spoon.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 762 Total Fat: 77g Saturated Fat: 44g Trans Fat: 2g Unsaturated Fat: 27g Cholesterol: 321mg Sodium: 1100mg Carbohydrates: 78g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 11g Protein: 49g