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Pressed Croque Madame

Pressed Croque Madame
A variation on the famous French sandwich known as croque monsieur (toasted ham and cheese), the croque madame is topped with a fried egg. Both sandwiches are popular in cafés and bistros throughout France.

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices country-style bread, each 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted, plus 1/2 tsp.
      butter
  • 1/4 cup béchamel sauce (see related recipe at
      right)
  • 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
  • 4 thin slices ham
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Directions:

Preheat a panini press according to the manufacturer's instructions.

For each sandwich, brush one side of 2 bread slices with melted butter. Lay the slices, buttered side down, on a clean work surface. Spread the top of each slice with 1 Tbs. of the béchamel sauce. Top 1 slice with 1/4 cup cheese, 2 slices ham, 1/4 cup cheese and the other bread slice, buttered side up. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Place the sandwiches on the preheated panini press, close the lid and cook according to the manufacturer's instructions until crisp, golden and heated through, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the sandwiches to a warmed plate.

In a nonstick fry pan over medium-low heat, melt the 1/2 tsp. butter. Break the eggs into the pan and fry until the whites are set, 3 to 4 minutes for sunny-side-up eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Place 1 egg on top of each sandwich and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately. Serves 2.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.