My darling one (the old ball and chain) and I do love a good croque madame whenever we visit the continent. Which is mostly achieved by hitching a lift with his lovely, long-suffering, parents and going on a big ol’ booze cruise to Calais. You simply cannot beat cheap French plonk. Great stuff!
Anyway, I digress. As is often the case when wine enters the mix.
A croque is, to you (English Bob) and I, a cheese and ham toasie. And the madame bit is two fried eggs. Couldn’t think why, but there it is. These foreigners are shrouded in mystery.
The creation of one of these bad boys is more a case of assembling your ingredients than cooking them.
Make a cheese and ham toasie, two fried eggs, and consume. Handy pointers can be found after this picture:
Tips for a deliciously naughty croque madame
I like to use brown or seeded bread for my croque, because you get so much more flavour and texture this way. I always make mine in a frying pan, much like an American ‘grilled cheese’ (why do they call it grilled, if it’s shallow fried? Goodness.). Make sure you coat the outsides of the bread in butter for extra crisp! I usually go:
because that way your ham is stuck in suspension between two yummy gooey layers of cheese which have stuck successfully to the bread encompassing, thus creating admirable structural integrity to your proper good grub.
Simply shove the whole lot into a large non-stick frying pan on a medium heat and compress with a spatula, turning occasionally until golden and crispy and all the cheese has melted. YUUUUUUM.
Top with two fried eggs (une madame), a metric tonne of parsley (if there’s green stuff it looks healthy) and season to taste.
Voilà! Bon apetite!