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This breakfast-style sandwich is good anytime of the day. Especially for breakfast or brunch. This is a French
version of the American grilled cheese sandwich with the difference being the
egg on top of the sandwich. The Croque-Madame was invented in Paris sometime around 1910 as a fast food to
be eaten in cafes and bistros. According to some historians, this sandwich is called a Croque Madame because the fried egg
on top is reminiscent of a ladies hat.
Photo from Cottage Living magazine, January 2008.
Photo by Bob chamberline,
Los Angeles Time newspaper, March 2010.
Croque Madame Egg Sandwich Recipe
Yields: 4 sandwiches
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 5 min
8 slices sourdough or white sandwich bread
1/2 cup butter, room temperature and divided
4 thin slices good-quality cooked ham
4 thin sliced Dutch Edam cheese*
1 1/2 tablespoons finely-chopped parsley
* Gruyère or Emmentaler cheese may be substituted.
Using 1/4 cup of butter, spread butter on one side of each slice of bread.
Make 4 sandwiches with slices of ham and cheese piled onto the center only of the
buttered bread and top with the remaining slices of bread, buttered side down. Butter the outside of the bread.
In a large non-stick frying pan or medium heat, fry each sandwich until the cheese has melted
and the outside is golden brown. Remove from heat. Use a round, fluted cutter and cut each sandwich into a circle.
While the sandwiches are frying prepare the poached eggs.
Use a pan that is at least 3-inches deep so there is
enough water to cover the eggs and they do not stick to the bottom of the pan. To
prevent sticking, grease the pan with a little oil before filling with water.
Bring the poaching liquid to a boil and then reduce to a simmer before adding the eggs (bubbles
should not break the surface).
Break each egg onto a saucer or into small cups or bowls.
Slip eggs carefully into simmering water by lowering the lip of each egg-cup 1/2-inch below the surface of the water. Let the eggs flow out.
Immediately cover with a lid and
turn off the heat. Set a timer for exactly three minutes for medium-firm yolks. Adjust the
time up or down for runnier or firmer yolks. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, depending on firmness desired.
Remove from water with slotted spoon. Lift each perfectly poached egg from the
water with a slotted spoon, but hold it over the skillet briefly to let any water clinging
to the egg drain off. Drain well before serving.
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt together the remaining 1/4 cup butter and parsley.
To serve, place one sandwich on each individual serving
plate. Top with one poached egg and drizzle with parsley butter. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.