The Simply Luxurious Life®: A French Feast  

February 17, 2011

A French Feast

After watching Meryl Streep in It’s Complicated, I learned how to make a Croque Monsieur and found it to be a meal that was rich and decadent, but simple and short on time. So then I thought I’d make it’s counterpart – Croque Madame.

With generous amounts of gruyere cheese and savory Virginia ham topped with a its signature – a fried egg , your appetite will be more than satisfied. Add an arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette dressing, shavings of parmesan and pine nuts, along with a glass of crisp white wine, and you have a simple date night meal at home.

Croque Madame

(via Alex’s Day Off - Alex Guarnaschelli)


  • 6 ounces unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 8 slices thick sourdough bread
  • 8 to 12 slices good quality ham (about 3/4 pound)
  • 12 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated, divided
  • Nonstick spray
  • 4 eggs


1. Preheat the broiler.

2. Make the béchamel sauce: In a small saucepan, melt 1 ounce butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until you smell the flour and butter cooking, 2 to 3 minutes. Do not allow it to brown. Add the milk and bay leaf and cook, stirring from time to time, until the mixture thickens like a soup, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and stir in the Parmesan. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

3. Arrange 4 slices of the bread on a flat surface. Top each with 2 to 3 slices of ham. Mix together half of the Gruyere cheese and the béchamel sauce. Taste for seasoning. Spread a little of the sauce on top of the ham and top each with another slice of bread.

4. Heat a large cast iron skillet and, when hot, add half of the remaining butter. Add 2 of the sandwiches and brown on one side, 2 minutes. Turn on the other side and brown 2 more minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining butter and sandwiches. Spread the remaining béchamel on top of the sandwiches and top with the other half of the Gruyere cheese.

5. Wipe any crumbs from the cast iron skillet and spray with nonstick spray. Crack 4 eggs into the skillet, leaving a little room between each. (Alternatively, fry 2 at a time). While the eggs are frying, place the sandwiches under the broiler and broil until the top becomes golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Season the eggs with salt and top each sandwich with a fried egg. Serve immediately.

Image: (1) Simply Luxurious (2) My Recipes

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At February 17, 2011 at 5:16 PM , Blogger CJ said...

This looks absolutely DELICIOUS! Thanks for sharing!

At February 17, 2011 at 5:26 PM , Blogger Peaches said...

Since I will have a lot of time on my hands this coming week, I will definitely try and make this. Yumm!!!

At February 17, 2011 at 5:51 PM , Blogger hostess of the humble bungalow said...

Loved the movie and it looked so tsty when they were munching...Ina Garten, aka the Barefoot Contessa has a great recipe in her Paris cookbook...I'm hungry now!

At February 17, 2011 at 7:56 PM , Blogger Kori said...

Wow I want this right now for dinner! Kori xoxo

At February 18, 2011 at 6:36 AM , Anonymous Jordana @ White Cabana said...

Yummy! C'est delicieux!

At February 18, 2011 at 4:48 PM , Blogger THE ALTERNATIVE WIFE said...

Love Croque Monsieur & Madame! I ate them all the time in France :)

Thank you for the recipe. I've yet to make it here.

At October 12, 2012 at 4:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loving this lazy saturday morning perusing through your blog, but I don't know if anyone has mentioned that there are quite a few pictures on you blog that can't be seen. They appear as black boxes, with a white circle and a line through it. Frequently they are the first picture on your blog page.


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