Croque Madame

2 sandwiches

This classic ham sandwich from France is drizzled with bechamel sauce and topped with fried eggs.


  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon flour

  • 1 cup milk

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

  • 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese

  • 4 slices white bread

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 3 ounces best-quality deli ham, thinly sliced

  • 2 large eggs

  • Ground pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the broiler with the rack in the top position. In small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over high heat. Whisk in flour and cook until lightly golden. Add milk and salt and whisk constantly until mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir into the sauce the nutmeg and half the cheese.

  2. Lay the slices of bread on a baking sheet. Divide the Dijon between 2 slices and top with ham. Divide half of the bechamel between the remaining 2 bread slices and top with remaining cheese. Close the sandwiches.

  3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sandwiches and cook both sides until bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted, about 3-4 minutes.

  4. Return sandwiches to the baking sheet, top with remaining bechamel, and place under the broiler until bubbly, about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, melt remaining butter in the same skillet over high heat. Fry eggs, sunny side up, for about 2 minutes. Top sandwiches with fried egg, season with black pepper, and serve immediately.

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