I whipped this up as a Quick and Easy Saturday Brunch.
My version is completely non-traditional
This little sandwich can be found at almost any traditional French bistro. Often served open-faced for lunch, with the egg sunny-side up or over easy and served with a drizzling of Mornay Sauce and gruyere cheese. Or omit the egg altogether and you are eating a Croque Monsieur. Apparently first made the scene in 1910, but all I can really tell you is that this is a little slice of high-cholesterol deliciousness.
My version was inspired by a Croque Madame I had with Mike on our anniversary trip to Catalina Island. I whipped this baby up one morning after yoga when I was feeling like something special and "naughty" for breakfast. It's essentially a ham and cheese sandwich with an egg added, and french toast for the bread.
2 slices home-style white bread
2-3 slices thin-sliced ham (or sub turkey)
1 slice cheese-of-your-choice (Gruyere or Swiss cheeses are traditional, but I am NOT a fan of either of these cheeses. I prefer a soft Irish Cheddar, Gouda or Mozarella)
1 tablepsoon butter
1/2 tsp nutmeg (optional)
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1-2 tablespoons Maple Syrup
1/ Melt butter in a skillet over med-high heat.
2/ Whisk 2 eggs in a large bowl, adding optional nutmeg, cinnamon and a dash of salt.
3/ Dredge bread in egg yolk mixture until well coated on both sides. Place bread in hot skillet and grill for approx 2-3 minutes on each side until bread is golden brown (be careful not to burn). Remove from skillet and set aside, covered.
4/ Add a little more butter to skillet and fry remaining egg. I prefer my egg over-easy for this type of sandwhich; in which case you will fry is the egg for 2-3 minutes (until the yolk is almost set) and then flip the egg over and fry an additional 1 minute. Remove immediately.
5/ While egg frying, assemble sandwich by placing ham and cheese on top of one layer of bread. Top with fried egg. Add another dash of salt and a drizzle of maple syrup. Top sandwich with remaining slice of french toast and dig in. Bon appetit!
As with all French Brunch items, these taste amazing served with a frothy cappuccino or vanilla latte.
For an alernative, more savory, sandwich use chicken or turkey and add avocado (omit cinnamon and nutmeg).
If you would like to try a more traditional Croque Madame, I've attached a few links below:
Julia Child's Croque Madame
Jacque's Croque Madame
Paula Deen's Croque Madame
Rachel Ray's Croque Madame