Oh-la-la. Done properly at home, a croque madame can be the egg-crowned queen of sandwiches. Treat yourself to good bread and the freshest eggs you can find. This recipe is from Kitchen & Co by French & Grace (Kyle Books).
4 slices of oak smoked ham
100g comté cheese, sliced
A pinch of thyme leaves
2 medium eggs
4 little gem lettuce leaves
4 slices of sourdough
Set the grill to a high heat. Cut a hole in the centre of two slices of bread. Place all four slices under the grill, turning once, until lightly toasted on both sides. Top the complete slices with ham, cheese and a few thyme leaves then return it to the grill, on a low shelf. Keep an eye on them while you make the other side of the sandwich. Allow the cheese to melt, but don’t let it burn.
Put the other slices in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and crack the eggs into the central holes. Use a spatula to push the sides of the bread down so the egg doesn’t leak out from underneath.
Once the eggs are cooked and the cheese has melted, you’re ready to construct your croque madame. Top the melted cheese with the lettuce, then carefully slide your egg-filled slice on top.