The Croque Madame is supposedly the female equivalent of the Croque monsieur, the reason for the difference is the addition of the fried egg on top with is meant to resemble a woman's bonnet, beyond that there is no real difference between the two.
For its simplicity I can honestly say that this is one of the best sandwiches I have tasted, the Béchamel sauce inside of the sandwich adds a lovely moisture to it and depth of flavour that you wouldn't otherwise have. As well as that the Béchamel thickens when it cools, meaning that it becomes much more portable, perfect for packed lunches. Normally this recipe is very quick as it consist mainly of the sandwich and a Béchamel sauce, ordinarily the sauce would take the longest of the components to create but I have opted to make the sauce with a stick blender instead to seed up the process.
This is an absolutely perfect recipe for a sandwich, what more could you want than a grilled sandwich which is covered in lashings of cheese?
250ml whole fat milk
50 g melted butter
3 Tbsp flour
150g Strong Cheddar
10 Slices of Thick Bread
10 Slices of ham
Step 1: Making the Béchamel Sauce
To make this Béchamel sauce couldn't be simpler, all it requires is warm milk and a roux blended up with some cheese, salt and pepper. I have opted to use a stick blender to save time, but feel free to make this using a more traditional whisk technique.
Picture 1. Full ingredients list photo.
Picture 2. warm 250ml of milk in a large saucepan
Picture 3. in a seperate pan melt the 50g of butter
Picture 4. once the butter has melted add 3 tbsp of flour to the pan.
Picture 5. with a wooden spoon blend the butter and flour together to for the roux and allow it too cook for a few minutes in the pan.
Picture 6. mix the roux and the grated cheddar in to the hot milk.
Picture 7. finally blend the mixture until its thick.
Step 2: Preparing the Sandwich
Picture 1. toast the thick bread slices in a toaster.
Picture 2. on each slice of toast for 1 sandwich add 1 Tbsp of Béchamel sauce.
Picture 3. on the bottom slice add two slices of ham, Ensure that they don't come out of they sandwich.
Picture 4. add a small amount of the remaining grated cheese to the sandwich slices.
Picture 5. place the top slice upon the bottom one.
Picture 6. add a small amount of pepper and Worcestershire sauce
Step 3: Grill Sandwich
Finally turn the grill up all the way and grill on high for 7 minutes. Make sure that you keep checking upon it.
Full power Grill
Step 4: Fry the Egg
Picture 1. In a large pan allow a small amount of oil to reach smoking temperature.
Picture 2. tilt the pan so that the oil collects at the bottom and crack the egg in to that pool of oil
Picture 3. once the base has set you can turn the heat down and allow the egg to sit flatly.
Picture 4. put the Fried egg upon the top of the sandwich.
Step 5: Thank You for Reading
Finally I recommend that you eat this hot, however they do taste just as good cold. You can garnish them with some fresh basil, salt, pepper and paprika for colour.
Thank you for reading , if you have any comments or queries please contact me and I will try to answer them as soon as possible.