The french sandwich Croque Monsieur becomes a Madame when adorned with a fried egg. It is a very sensual and decadent sandwich, also quite messy to eat. I have turned the Madame into a Madame Crostini, making it somewhat easier to eat and a little less filling. While fried eggs with their runny yolk really make the crostini, for ease of preparation and if you are entertaining, you can adapt the recipe by preparing “soft” hard boiled eggs in advance and simply slicing them in half and placing them atop the bread slices. The béchamel sauce can be made in advance and kept at room temperature for a good while, too. For a french brunch, serve atop a frisee salad and pour over a warm bacon/vinegar/mustard shallot dressing!
- 3/4 stick unsalted butter, divided
- 1 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 sprig each thyme and tarragon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 4 slices thick sourdough bread
- 4 slices canadian bacon or black forest ham
- 6 ounces Gruyere cheese (or 4 slices, diced), grated, divided
- Clarified butter, bacon fat, olive oil or nonstick spray
- 8 large eggs
- Preheat broiler.
- To make béchamel, melt 1 tbsp butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes, but don’t let it turn brown. Add the milk and herbs and cook, stirring from time to time, about 10 minutes. Fish out the herb sprigs and transfer to a bowl to cool.
- Top each slice of bread with a slice of ham. Mix together 1/4 of the Gruyere cheese and the bechamel sauce. Taste for seasoning. Spread a little of the sauce on top of the ham and repeat with the other slices of bread.
- Heat two large cast iron or nonstick skillets and crack 4 eggs into each skillet. While the eggs cook, place the crostini under the broiler and broil until the top becomes golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Season the eggs with salt and top each crostini with 2 fried eggs. Enjoy!