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Croque Madame

In this recipe from Chef Michael Voltaggio, a microwave streamlines preparation of croque madame, the grilled ham-and-cheese sandwich that’s a classic in France.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 8 eggs
  • 4 slices country-style sourdough bread, toasted
  • 6 oz. sliced smoked ham

  • 1 Tbs. sliced fresh chives

Directions:

Lightly spray a microwavable plate with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle the Parmigiano-Reggiano in an even layer on the plate, forming a 6-inch circle. Microwave at 100% power for 1 minute and 40 seconds. Remove the plate from the microwave. Using a small offset spatula and working around the edges, gently remove the tuile from the plate and transfer to a paper towel to cool.

To make the Mornay sauce, place the 2 Tbs. butter in a 1-quart microwavable glass container about 3 inches high and 7 inches in diameter. Microwave at 100% power until the butter is completely melted, 30 to 60 seconds. Stir in the flour until fully incorporated. Add the milk and, using an immersion blender, blend for about 20 seconds. Add the Gruyère, salt and nutmeg. Cover the container loosely with plastic wrap and microwave at 100% power for 2 1/2 minutes. Remove from the microwave, uncover and, using the immersion blender, blend until the sauce is smooth. Cover and set aside.

Have ready either 4 eight-oz. ceramic ramekins or 4 microwavable coffee mugs about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. Place 1/4 tsp. butter in each of 2 ramekins and microwave at 100% power until the butter is melted, about 30 seconds. Crack 1 egg into each of the 2 ramekins, cover loosely with plastic wrap and place each ramekin on the edge of the microwave tray, directly across from each another. Microwave at 100% power until the whites are set but the yolks are still underdone, about 1 minute. If the whites are not set, continue microwaving at 100% power in 10-second increments. Transfer the eggs to a plate and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Repeat the process with the remaining butter and eggs, rotating between the unused ramekins so they do not become too hot.

To assemble, place 1 piece of toast on each of 4 warmed plates. For each serving, drape one-fourth of the ham over the toast and top with 2 eggs. Spoon the Mornay sauce on and around the eggs. Break the tuile into pieces and lay on and around the eggs. Garnish with the chives and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Recipe by Chef Michael Voltaggio