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Springtime Croque madame

This sandwich stars layers of thinly sliced ham, soft, melty cheese, and a delicious crunch as you bite down on the toasted sourdough bread. Topped with a creamy fresh herb béchamel sauce and Gruyere and Comté cheese. 

SERVES
4

Ingredients

Fresh Herb Béchamel Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 shallots, finely minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 fresh mixed herbs, such as chives, parsley, thyme, or tarragon, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Croque Madame

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 8 slices sourdough bread, toasted
  • 16 slices ham, thinly slicied
  • 8 thin slices of tomato
  • 2 cups Comté or Gruyere, shredded
  • 4 eggs, fried

Directions

Béchamel Sauce 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium-sized pot over medium heat.
  3. Add shallots and garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  
  4. Add the flour and whisk until completely combined and a roux has formed. Slowly pour in the buttermilk and whisk consistently until the sauce has smoothed and thickened, about six minutes. 
  5. Stir in lemon juice, herbs, Dijon, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Assembly 

  1. Place four slices of toasted sourdough onto a prepared baking sheet and spread béchamel over top ensuring end-to-end coverage.
  2. Place four pieces of ham onto each slice and top with two slices of tomato. Sprinkle with half the cheese and then top each with the remaining pieces of bread.
  3. Spread the tops of the sandwiches with the remaining béchamel and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake in the oven until the sandwiches are golden and bubbly, about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes. Place each Croque on a plate and top with a fried egg and garnish with fresh herbs. Dig in and enjoy! 

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