This breakfast dish is one of our favourites and is great to impress your friends. Croque madame is a traditional French dish using gruyère cheese and Béchamel sauce to transform a simple ham and cheese toasted sandwich into something truly decadent. An alternative is a croque monsieur, same recipe but without the fried egg on top. We fry the eggs keeping them quite runny, which acts like a sauce spilling over the sandwich. Try other alternatives such as adding sliced tomato, mushrooms, or spinach instead of ham (or with). It’s not traditional but still delicious.
- 25g smoked manuka butter
- 1½ tbsp flour
- 1½ cup milk
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup grated gruyère (plus extra for top)
- 8 slices of ciabatta
- 4 tsp walnut mustard (Edmond Fallot—Moutarde Aux Noix)
- Sliced ham
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 4 eggs
- Heat oven to 180 degrees, fan bake
- To make the Béchamel, melt butter in a medium pot on medium heat
- Stir flour into the butter, mix well
- Slowly pour in milk while stirring until thickened and season with salt and pepper
- Mix through 1 cup grated gruyère, stir until melted
- Lightly toast ciabatta in toaster
- On an oven tray, spread 1 tsp walnut mustard on four pieces of ciabatta
- Top with slices of ham and spread 2 tbsp of the cheese sauce on each
- Top with the other piece of ciabatta to make a sandwich
- Spread some more cheese sauce and sprinkle with more gruyère on the top piece of bread
- Bake at 180°C for 10–15 minutes, grilling at the end if needed to get a golden colour on the cheese
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan, and fry eggs to your liking. We recommend runny yolks.
- To serve, remove croque madame from oven and top it with fried egg. Season with salt and pepper.