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
FOR THE BECHAMEL
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.
FOR THE CROQUE MADAMES
- 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. ***
FOR THE EGGS
- **** 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.