Provender’s Croque Madame

PUBLISHED: 11:35 12 May 2015 | UPDATED: 09:59 25 August 2015




Ingredients (serves one)

• 2 slices of good slow proved unbleached farmhouse loaf around 10-12mm thick

• 20-40g of cured or smoked free range British ham, thick sliced and with fat removed

• 1 egg

For sauce (enough for four)

• 4 tablespoons of good, unsalted French butter

• 60g plain flour

• 325ml-475ml semi skimmed milk

• 75ml light ham stock (optional)

• 100g finely micro-planed cheese (a mix of Gruyere, Comte and good quality Parmesan)

• Freshly grated nutmeg to taste

• Fine sea salt

• A pinch of Basque Espelette chilli

1 Heat butter in medium-sized non-stick pan. Add flour and cook over medium heat for two minutes

2 Add about 325ml of the milk and whisk continuously to keep smooth. As it thickens add remaining milk or ham stock, lower heat and cook for about 30 minutes

3 Add more liquid as required and ensure the flour is cooked. Add cheese little by little whilst whisking continually. Add seasoning, take off heat, cover with cling film and chill for 30 minutes.

4 Season one face of each slice of bread with black pepper, place on baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, lay on ham generously then spoon a good dollop of Béchamel over. Close the sandwich then spoon more sauce on top with sprinkle of cheese and chill for 15 minutes.

5 Bake at 200°C for at least 15 minutes. Place fried egg onto each Croque and serve immediately

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