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Playing French Onion Croque Madame


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 large onions, very thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 1 cup veal stock
For the Bechamel Sauce:
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • Nutmeg, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
For the sandwiches:
  • For the sandwiches: 4 long slices peasant bread, cut 1/2-inch thick
  • 8 slices mild, imported cooked ham or prosciutto cotto
  • About 2 cups shredded Gruyère or Fontina Val d’Aosta
  • Butter, for eggs
  • 4 large eggs


Serves: 4


Preheat oven to 375°F.
Heat a skillet over medium-low and add the butter to foam. Add onions, season with salt and pepper, and add bay and thyme. Caramelize onions about 30 minutes then deglaze the onions with sherry. Add stock and let reduce until just a few spoonfuls of stock remain; keep warm.

In a saucepot, warm milk. In another pan, melt butter over medium to medium-high heat. Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute then whisk in warm milk. Bring to a bubble and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Let thicken to coat a spoon then remove from heat and stir in Dijon. 
To make the sandwiches, arrange bread slices on a baking sheet and top with some onions, 2 slices of ham, some of the sauce and top with cheese. Bake to brown and bubbly.

Cook eggs in butter up or over-easy, whichever you prefer. Top sandwiches with an egg and serve.