This Easy Croque Madame recipe is the perfect lazy brunch for weekends. A toasted mustard and ham sandwich topped with a cheesy bechamel sauce and a poached egg.
Today's recipe is not Italian but French! Why? because it's my favourite way to start the day and when it comes to breakfast it almost always has to be savoury for me. Put down the pastries and enjoy this easy croque madame instead!
Croque Madame is a French dish that traditionally is made with Gruyére cheese. It's fried in butter and topped with a fried egg.
I make my own version with cheddar cheese which is just as delicious and less expensive than Gruyére, I also top mine with a poached egg which is my absolute favourite way to eat eggs.
This breakfast takes around 15 minutes to make and if you’ve mastered your poached egg making skills then it'll take even less time.
To achieve perfect poached eggs can be quite tricky but after some practice and some weird looking eggs it becomes so easy and they come out perfect every time. It’s important to slowly pour the eggs from a ramekin into the water, the slower the better also the temperature of the eggs makes a difference too.
I always find my poached eggs work best at room temperature and not just out of the fridge.
These look so impressive for when you have friends or family staying and they're a great, special treat for Christmas morning too.
More Easy Breakfast Recipes To Try:
- Arugula, portobello and feta frittata
- Mushroom and cheese tart
- Healthy honey granola
- Apple olive oil cake
Easy Croque Madame
- 8 slices small white bread
- 4 slices good quality ham
- ½ cup 50g strong cheddar cheese
- 1 knob of butter
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- ½ cup 3.3 fl oz/100ml semi skimmed milk
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 4 eggs
- pinch of nutmeg
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- Preheat the grill to 180°C/350F/gas mark 4. Lightly toast one side of each slice of bread then spread the untoasted side generously with mustard. Top 4 slices with a slice of ham and close to make a sandwich, place on a baking tray.
- Bring one large pot of salted water to the boil. To make the cheese sauce add a large knob of butter to a sauce pan under a medium/low heat. Once the butter has melted add the flour and mix to a thick paste. Cook down for 1 minute then gradually add the milk, stirring with a whisk constantly so there are no lumps. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and add the cheese, stir until melted and the sauce it thick and smooth.
- Top each sandwich with white sauce then place under the grill until golden brown. Meanwhile to make the poached eggs, turn the boiling water down to the very lowest heat possible, you don't want the water to be simmering at all, if it does on the lowest heat turn it off. Crack the eggs one at a time into ramekins and slowly pour the eggs into the water. Poach for about 2-5 minutes depending on how runny you want your egg. Remove with a slotted spoon and dry off on kitchen paper before topping each sandwich with a poached egg, season with salt and pepper.