I’ve been wanting to try a Croque Madame for quite a while now, and while we were out at Easton this past weekend to make the Sur La Table stop, we decided to stop at Bon Vie while they were still serving brunch on Sunday and both ordered the Croque Madame – this recipe is based on that, with bechamel sauce in place of the traditional hollandaise. The recipe for the bechamel sauce is taken from a Rachael Ray recipe, but the rest of the sandwich is served open face like we had at Bon Vie, with poetic license taken on my part. Our version of it was abfab, better even than Bon Vie’s, I think. Not a pretty picture, but you can see all the layers here (french toast bottom, gruyere, ham, eggs, and bechamel). The recipe is a sum of its parts, so prepare each part individual first, to assemble at the end. This dish has the added benefit of being mostly local (2Silos guinea hen eggs, ham from Thurn’s, Challah baked at Whole Foods, Ohio butter).
bechamel sauce courtesy Rachael Ray, rest of recipe inspired by the dish at Bon Vie
2 tbsp. butter
2 rounded tbsp. flour
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. Dijon mustard (I used whole grain Dijon)
Place a small saucepot over medium low heat and melt two tablespoons of butter. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute or so. Whisk in the milk and bring it to a bubble and then drop the heat to low. Season the sauce with salt, pepper, nutmeg and Dijon. When sauce thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon, turn off the heat.
6 eggs (we used Guinea Hen, but you can use any kind)
2 tbsp. butter
Fry eggs in butter to your desired doneness – we did ours over easy.
4 slices Challah bread
2 eggs, beaten with 1 tbsp. cream
2 tbsp, butter.
1 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
4 slices baked ham
Prepare bechamel sauce and then set aside. Dip challah bread in egg batter, and fry in the butter. After flipping over the first time, sprinkle about 1/4 cup of cheese on each french toast slice and put one slice of ham on each. Keep on heat until bottom of French Toast is browned and cheese is melted and ham is warmed. Plate the sandwich open faced style, 2 pieces of bread to a plate. Fry eggs, and then top each pair of French Toast with three fried eggs. Spoon bechamel sauce over fried eggs and serve.