Updated: Mar 14, 2020
As promised, after making my Buck Rarebit, I will make a Croque Madame. I had tasted my fair share of croque monsieur and croque madame in eateries and restaurants. Some had way too much sauce which overpowered the whole sandwich, some were literally hard as a brick with a blend taste, what disappointed me the most was a soggy toast. For years, I had been trying to perfect the croque monsieur, the results just weren't consistent. I had tried with different kinda bread, with different ratios of ingredients in making the bechamel sauce and even types of cheeses.
I can say it was more of an accident that I found this perfect recipe. I was telling myself, instead of making a bechamel sauce, why not try a French yogurt or some other white French dairy cream. While browsing thru' the grocery store, I came across the Crème Fraiche. It was at that exact moment, that light bulb moment, I was asking myself, "why didn't I think of using this?" That is how this recipe is born.
The croque monsieur came out crispy, crunchy and cheesy every single time. No soggy toast, no overpowering sauce and no fuss in making any bechamel sauce. A croque madame is simply a sunny side up added on top of the croque monsieur. I also found a new love, matcha salt. I learned about this salt from one of my Instagrammers. Out of curiosity, I just have to research about it, it is a mixture of some sea salt grind together with matcha powder. It indeed adds a new layer of funk to the sandwich. You have to try it to believe it!
(Make 1 sandwich)
Gruyere Freshly Shredded, 1/3 Cup + More For Topping
Crème Fraiche, 3/8 Cup
Dijon Mustard, 1/2 TSP
Sea Salt, Pinch
Black Pepper, Pinch
Nutmeg Freshly Grated, Pinch
Brioche Bread, 3 Slices
High Quality Smoked Chicken Ham / Turkey Ham, 4 Slices
Unsalted Butter Softened, 6 Heaped Spread
Maldon Sea Salt, 1 TBSP
High Quality Matcha Powder, 1 TSP
Baking Tray Lined With Parchment Paper
Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius or 375 fahrenheit.
In a large mixing bowl, add gruyere, crème fraiche and mustard.
Mix to combine well.
Add salt, pepper and nutmeg. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Give it a final mix.
Spread butter on all sides of the bread.
Spread a line layer of the cheese mixture on 1 side of each bread.
Place 2 slices of ham on 2 bread.
Sandwich the slices of bread together.
You should have, bread, cheese, ham, bread, cheese, ham, bread and cheese.
Place the sandwich on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Spread some more of that cheese mixture on top of the sandwich.
Top it off with some more gruyere.
Wack into the oven and bake for about 20 mins or until the top cheese is molten golden brown.
Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.
In a skillet over medium low heat, drizzle some oil.
Crack an egg onto the skillet.
Cook until the bottom is crisp brown.
Remove from heat and place the sunny side up onto the croque monsieur.
In a spice grinder, blitz salt and matcha until powdery.
Dust the matcha salt and cayenne over the croque madame.