- April 2017
- Serves 2
- Hands-on time 30 min
Can a day really start any better than with a lazy breakfast in bed? If you’re having our croque madame – made with thick sliced ham sandwiched between cheesy bread and topped with a crispy fried egg – we think not. Make it for your partner, mum or loved one for extra brownie points.
Or, for anyone with a sweet tooth, take a look at our chocolate-filled French toast recipe.
- 60.1g (28.9g saturated)
- 37.3g (7.2g sugars)
- 150ml whole milk
- ¼ onion
- 4 black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 20g unsalted butter, plus a knob extra
- 20g plain flour
- Olive oil for frying
- 4 thin slices sourdough bread
- 160g gruyère, comté or a mix, grated
- 4 slices thick-cut ham
- 2 large free-range eggs
- Gently heat the milk, onion, peppercorns and bay leaf in a pan. When the milk starts to simmer, turn off the heat and leave for 5 minutes. Strain the milk into a jug and set aside (discard what’s left in the sieve).
- Clean the pan, then melt the 20g butter over a low heat. Stir in the flour to form a paste, then cook for 3-4 minutes until it bubbles. Off the heat, whisk in the milk, bit by bit, to make a smooth silky sauce.
- Return the pan to a medium heat, whisking until the sauce thickens, then use a wooden spoon to stir until bubbling and very thick. Season and set aside.
- Set the grill to high. Heat a knob of butter and a glug of oil in a large frying pan. Fry the sourdough slices, two at a time, for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden.
- Divide 100g cheese between 2 of the slices of toast and layer up with the ham. Top with the rest of the toast. Spread the béchamel thickly onto each sandwich, sprinkle over the remaining cheese, then put onto a baking tray or grill pan. Grill for 8-10 minutes until melted and golden.
- Meanwhile, heat a glug of oil in a pan. Crack in 2 eggs and fry for 2-3 minutes until the white is set and crisp at the edge. Serve the fried egg on top of the sandwich.
Make the sauce (steps 1-2) up to 24 hours in advance and keep covered in the fridge.
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