If you love toasted cheese sandwiches but want to take it up a level – stick an egg in the middle! Yep, croque madame makes no apologies for being extra rich, gooey and drippy, and for being lip-smackingly good, filling and ultra satisfying.
Toast the bread as described in croque monsieur, then make the mornay sauce. You need small eggs. I drain them briefly one by one in a slotted spoon to get rid of any wateriness and some of the egg white. Quickly fry eggs (one per sandwich) in a little sizzling butter, or in hot oil, in a non-stick pan until nearly cooked (the egg white nearly set). Quickly spread bread with mornay sauce and put on sliced ham. Transfer eggs to four slices of the bread and season with salt and freshly ground black or white pepper. Put the other pieces of bread on top, but don’t press on them or you might pop the egg yolks! Spoon mornay sauce on top as for croque monsieur. Sprinkle with parmesan and grill until bubbling and speckled with golden brown spots. Serve immediately. And these are definitely to be eaten on a plate with a knife and fork, not out of hand.
Photography Aaron McLean http://www.aaronmclean.com