Forester Croque Madames, adapted from Alex Guarnaschelli


Forester Croque Madames

  • 6 tbsp. Butter, divided
  • 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ¼ cup grated parmesean
  • 4 stalks of kale
  • 10 small baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 yellow onion sliced (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 slices of sourdough bread*
  • 8 thick slices of quality ham**
  • 1 ¼ cup of shredded Gruyere cheese, divided


In a small saucepan melt 3 tbsp of butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Stir continuously until flour and butter are fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add milk and bay leaf. Stir occasionally until mixture thickens like soup, about 11 minutes. Take out bay leaf and whisk in Parmesan. Take off heat and let cool.


  • Heat broiler
  • Wash kale and remove kale leaves from stalk. Set aside.
  • Wash mushrooms then slice and set aside with kale. Heat a non-stick pan on medium. Add kale and mushroom (and onion if using) to pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Saute by adding about 2-3 oz. of water to the pan, cooking for about 3-5 mins. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Mix bechamel with 1 cup of Gruyere.
  • On a baking sheet, arrange 4 slices of bread. Fold 1 slice of ham on bread, then add a spoonful of the kale, mushroom, and onion mix. Add another slice of folded ham to each slice of bread and then spread half a spoonful of the bechamel on top. Finish with another slice of bread
    (Bread → Ham → Veggies → Ham → Bechamel → Bread)
  • In a cast iron skillet melt the remaining butter. Arrange the sandwiches in the pan. Brown on each side, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer back to baking sheet. Spread remaining bechamel on top of sandwiches and sprinkle remaining gruyere on top. Place in broiler for 2-4 minutes, until cheese is melted and browning on top. ***


  • **** Place a non-stick pan coated with olive oil on medium heat. Crack an egg into a ramekin. Slowly pour the egg into the pan. Repeat this process for all four eggs and then cover the pan with a top, about five minutes.
  • Place eggs on top of sandwiches. Serve immediately.

*Make sure the bread is ½ – 1 inch thick
**You can use deli meat for this step.
I used Organic Ham from Wegmans and had them slice it thick.
***The broiler feature on your oven gets SUPER hot, SUPER quick – keep an eye on your croque madames when they’re in the oven or they will burn very quickly if not monitored.
****You can use cooking spray too but I find olive oil works better for me.

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