A Sandwich By Any Other Name...
Shakespeare may disagree, but we think names matter! Take this recipe, for instance. If we told you about a recipe for a ham, cheese, and egg sandwich your interest level would likely fall somewhere between ambivalence and mild curiosity. But there’s something a little enticing about the name ‘croque-madame’ sandwich. You feel like you want to know what it is, and maybe you’d even like to try making one, right?
What Is A Croque-Madame?
A croque-madame is a French bistro classic that begins with sliced ham and shredded Gruyère cheese layered onto thick slices of white bread. Fresh thyme and stone-ground mustard flavor a simple, creamy homemade béchamel sauce, that is poured over the toasted ham-and-cheese sandwich.
And then—because the French really know how to make a sandwich—the whole rich, gorgeous, béchamel-drenched thing is topped with even more shredded Gruyére. Pop it in the oven until it starts to bubble and your house smells like heaven.
Last but not least, to make it a truly classic croque-madame sandwich recipe, we top it with a fried Fred Meyer Cage Free Egg and some peppery microgreens. The result is rich, melty, and ooey-gooey sandwich perfection.
What’s the Difference Between a Croque-Monsieur and a Croque-Madame?
In French, croque-monsieur means “mister crunch.” The sandwich likely dates back to the beginning of the 20th century and (supposedly) to a bistro owner who got clever when he ran out of baguettes. After some quick thinking (and ham bought from the village butcher), he used a loaf of pain de mie (similar to thick-sliced sandwich bread) and toasted it until it had the crunch of a baguette. The sandwich was a hit, and the croque monsieur has since become a staple in French cuisine. The sandwich becomes a croque-madame (“madam crunch””) when a fried egg is put on top of the finished sandwich.
Classic Croque-Madame Ingredients:
- Thickly-sliced white bread.
- A smooth béchamel sauce.
- High-quality sliced ham.
- Grated Gruyère cheese.
- A perfectly fried egg.
The Elements, Perfected.
What could be just a simple ham and cheese sandwich becomes so much more when each element of the croque-madame’s ingredients are done right.
- The croque-madame filling: good quality, freshly sliced ham and a real Gruyère with a nutty and assertive bite that you shred yourself right before melting
- Thick slices of whitebread: thickly sliced and fluffy white bread, like Texas toast. It’s ideal for soaking up the croque-madame’s béchamel sauce.
- Béchamel making your own croque madame sauce is crucial. Whole-grain mustard, fresh thyme, and grated nutmeg give the creamy béchamel sauce a certain je ne sais quois.
- A runny, fried egg: the fried egg is what differentiates a croque-madame from a croque-monsieur, and it’s why we love them so very much. Supposedly, the croque-madame is called that because the shape of a fried egg resembles that of a ladies’ wide-brimmed hat.. We use fresh Kroger Co. Family of Stores Cage Free Eggs and fry them in melted butter one at a time in a nonstick skillet.
Tools You’ll Need:
More Meal-Worthy Sandwiches To Love:
Need more swoon-worthy sandwich recipes in your life? We’ve got you covered.
- Everyone’s favorite sammy gets a grown-up makeover in this green goddess grilled cheese sandwich loaded with avocado, sprouts, spinach, asparagus spears, and a flavor-packed green goddess spread.
- Crusty bread, melty cheese, and thinly sliced steak find their bliss when dunked into a homemade au jus, making this French dip sandwich a meal you won’t soon forget.
- This grilled ham and cheese sandwich with red pepper jelly is anything but ordinary thanks to the combination of smooth cream cheese, the bite of swiss cheese, and just a hint of sweet heat.
- Crisp ciabatta, homemade pesto, and a perfectly runny fried egg takes the beloved BLT to new heights of greatness in our heirloom BLT with pesto.
Croque-Madame: The Best Sandwich Ever?
This croque-madame had us at Gruyère. And then again at béchamel. And then it really got us with the runny fried egg on top. Can you relate? Did you make this croque-madame recipe and love it as much as we do and have the pictures to prove it? If so, post those babies to Instagram and tag us using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!
This sponsored post is written by TMP on behalf of Fred Meyer Stores. The opinions and text are all ours. Thank you for supporting the brands we love.