This is officially the first thing I made in the kitchen in our NEW HOUSE!! Yay! We found a beautiful house to rent and moved in last Sunday. The kitchen was the first thing I unpacked and organized because I was DYING to break it in. As I was unpacking my cookbooks I realized that I don’t use them nearly as much as I should to find recipes. Normally I get my recipe inspirations from the internet.
So I cracked open Rachael Ray’s 2, 4, 6, 8 30-Minute Meal Cookbook that I was given as a gift. The book is actually quite nice because it gives you recipes for 2, 4, 6, or 8 people. Since it was just going to be the two of us I looked in the just for 2 people section and found this recipe for Croque Madames. We were VERY pleased with this dinner. Satisfying and easy. Alex raved about the “gravy” as he called it which was actually a Bechamel Sauce. We had some sauce left over and he declared we “couldn’t waste it” so he spread the “gravy” on toast. I served these with the salad that she suggests in the book which will be my next post.
Source: Rachael Ray 2,4,6,8 Cookbook
* 6 tablespoons butter, divided
* 1 rounded tablespoon flour
* 1 cup milk
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (eyeball it)
* 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
* 4 slices white bread (I used wheat)
* 2 large eggs
* 4 slices deli-cut ham, look for a dry ham rather than boiled
* 4 slices deli-sliced Swiss cheese, look for Emmentaler
* Parsley, chives or thyme (any or all on hand), chopped
Yields: 2 servings
For the bechamel sauce: Place a small sauce pot over medium-low heat and melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute or so. Whisk in the milk and bring it to a bubble then drop the heat to low. Season the sauce with salt, pepper, nutmeg and Dijon. When the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, turn off the heat.
Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. When the butter melts, crack the eggs and add them to the pan, keeping the whites separate from each other. Cook to desired doneness, sunny-side-up to over-hard.
While the eggs cook, generously butter bread with the remaining butter. Keeping buttered sides facing out, build ham and cheese sandwiches; spreading béchamel on the insides of the bread and using 2 slices of ham and cheese for each sandwich.
Heat a second skillet over medium heat. Cook the sandwiches until golden, about 3-4 minutes, then turn. Cook them for 2 minutes more then transfer to plates, top with eggs and more sauce, garnish with herb of choice and serve with a knife and fork.