A play on the popular French toasted sandwich - Croque Madame (a Ham, Cheese & hollandaise sauce toastie served with a fried egg on top!) - the Mademoiselle refines this by frying the egg within the top layer of bread - making it easier to serve and less cumbersome to eat (and let's face it, no young lady wants to be caught out with egg on their face!). Standard hen eggs have also been upgraded to Duck eggs for a richer more indulgent taste. The hollandaise sauce has been replaced with mayonnaise as it is gentler on the tongue (and more readily available!).
- 2 Slices of your preferred Bread (thick cut)
- 1 Duck Egg (or med-large chicken egg)
- 1 Slice of quality ham (recommend honey roast butcher's ham)
- Sliced Cheese (a creamy mild continental cheese like, edam, emmental, or gouda recommended)
- Butter or spread
Level of difficulty Easy
Preparation time 2mins
Cooking time 3mins
Cost Average budget
Turn the grill on high. Whilst it is heating up, put some butter or spread in a frying pan and heat on a medium-high setting. If pan smokes remove from heat and turn down before continuing.
Place 1 Slice of bread under the grill and toast one side of it.
Remove the single sided toast from the grill and put to one side.
Using a small to medium glass or pastry cutter - you want to cut a whole big enough for your egg to spread out, whilst retaining enough. surrounding bread to keep the slice well formed - press a hole in the centre of the untoasted bread. Remove the circle and put to one side.
Place the slice of bread onto the frying pan and add a little more butter onto the pan where the hole is.
Ensure bread is firmly pressed onto pan and crack the egg open within the hole. If may see a little egg white escape do not worry just press down on the bread with your spatula.
Spread butter or spread onto the untoasted side of the bread you removed from grill.
Add the ham and cover with cheese.
Place back under the grill.
Return your attention to the frying pan.
Push the eggy bread to the side of your frying pan and add some more butter/spread to the pan.
Flip the bread quickly over onto the melting butter.
Add the previously removed bread circle into the pan to brown one side.
The cheese should be about melted under the grill now and you can turn the grill off. Move away from the grill but place where it will still be kept warm.
Check on your egg in the pan. If you like your egg soft it should be ready to remove from pan. If you prefer your egg cooked longer give it another 2 minutes.
Remove the circle of bread from the pan and add a generous serving of mayonnaise to the unbrowned side. You can use a different sauce if you have a preference.
Construct your delicious Croque mademoiselle:
The cheese & ham toasted slice forms the base, so place this onto your plate first.
Using a spatula, remove fried eggy bread from pan. The egg on one of the sides will usually be slightly indented - take the circle of bread with the mayonnaise side down and place over egg (mayonnaise facing egg).
Place the eggy bread on top (with the bread circle inside the sandwich), and press down.
You can now cut your sandwich and enjoy!
If you want a slightly more authentic taste but do not have any hollandaise sauce, simply mix a little mustard with your serving of mayonnaise.
There is a temptation for lover's of strong cheeses to instantly replace the milder continental cheese used with the croques, however one is in danger of overpowering the delicate yet explosive combination we get from having upgraded to good butcher's ham and duck eggs.
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