Croque-Madame

by Ann Marie Michaels on September 2, 2010

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I don’t know about you but I’m always looking for healthy breakfast ideas. You can only eat fried eggs so many days in a row.

The croque-monsieur is a French hot sandwich made with ham and cheese. You see them everywhere in cafes in Paris.

The name is based on the verb croquer (“to crunch”) and the word monsieur (“mister”) The reason behind the combination of the two words is unclear — and is colloquially shortened to croque.

The croque-madame is the feminine version, which includes a fried egg on top. I prefer the madame because it is more nutritious — and I just love runny egg yolks with toast.

Although this is typically eaten as a lunch or snack in France, it also makes a yummy and nutritious breakfast.

Croque-Madame – French Ham & Cheese Sandwich with a Fried Egg

Serves: 4

Ingredients

Sprouted, sourdough or gluten-free bread (8 slices)
Swiss cheese, grass-fed, organic, sliced (8 oz)
Ham, pastured or humanely-raised, nitrate-free, sliced (12 oz)
Eggs, pastured or free-range organic (4)
Butter, grass-fed, unsalted (3 TBS)
Sea salt -
Black pepper, freshly ground

Equipment

Two-sided grill or cast iron or stainless steel skillet

Directions

1. Spread butter on one side of all the bread slices.
2. Set half of the slices of bread, buttered side down, and cover them with the cheese slices.
3. Place 3 or 4 slices of ham in an even layer over the cheese, and place the top slice of bread over the ham, buttered side up.
4. Grill the sandwiches in a two-sided grill or in a heavy bottomed pan, using butter and turn each sandwich once.
5. In a small cast-iron skillet or pan, melt the butter.
6. Crack an egg into the pan, being careful not to break the yolk.
7. Add a teaspoon of water to the pan, sprinkle with a little sea salt, and cover the pan with a lid.
8. Cook egg for 3 to 6 minutes, depending on how firm you like your egg yolk cooked.
9. Center fried egg over grilled sandwich and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.
10. Fry remaining eggs in the same manner.
11. Serve sandwiches.

Photo credit: Fenchurch! on Flickr

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