Croque Madame

by Rachael Ray Show Staff 5:00 PM, August 27, 2007

Aired August 27, 2007

Serves 2 servings
6 tablespoons butter, divided
2 rounded tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (eyeball it)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 slices white bread
2 large eggs
4 slices deli-cut ham, look for a dry ham rather than boiled
4 slices deli-sliced Swiss cheese, look for Emmentaler
Parsley, chives or thyme (any or all on hand), chopped

For the bechamel sauce: Place a small sauce pot over medium-low heat and melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute or so. Whisk in the milk and bring it to a bubble then drop the heat to low. Season the sauce with salt, pepper, nutmeg and Dijon. When the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, turn off the heat.

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. When the butter melts, crack the eggs and add them to the pan, keeping the whites separate from each other. Cook to desired doneness, sunny-side-up to over-hard.

While the eggs cook, generously butter bread with the remaining butter. Keeping buttered sides facing out, build ham and cheese sandwiches; spreading bchamel on the insides of the bread and using 2 slices of ham and cheese for each sandwich.

Heat a second skillet over medium heat. Cook the sandwiches until golden, about 3-4 minutes, then turn. Cook them for 2 minutes more then transfer to plates, top with eggs and more sauce, garnish with herb of choice and serve with a knife and fork.