Pork has culinary ties to cultures across the globe and this classic French ham sandwich is just one example.
- 12 slices white sandwich bread
- Dijon mustard, for spreading
- Sliced ham, as needed, depending on how thick your ham is (if using thinly sliced deli ham, use about 3 slices per sandwich, or 18 slices total)
- 4 cups grated gruyere cheese
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- Pinch grated nutmeg
- Kosher salt (3/4tsp) and freshly ground black pepper (4 cranks on mill)
- 6 over-easy fried eggs
- Fresh thyme sprigs
CROQUE MADAME INSTRUCTIONS:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Assemble the sandwiches on a baking sheet by spreading 6 slices of bread with a scant amount of dijon mustard. (if you like more dijon flavor, add more; I like it to be subtle.) Top with the desired amount of ham and sprinkle with about a tablespoon of cheese. Top with the remaining bread slices.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat until melted. Stir in the flour, creating a roux, and cook for about 4 minutes. Whisk in the milk and stir until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add the nutmeg and 1 cup of gruyere, and season with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the sandwiches. Top the sandwiches with equal amounts of the remaining cheese.
- Bake for 8 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil until the sandwiches are golden brown and the cheese is bubbly, about 2 minutes (watch closely!). Top each sandwich with a fried egg and serve.