Easy Croque

Most of you are probably familiar with Croque-Monsieur and Croque-Madame - a grilled cheese and ham sandwich topped with Béchamel sauce and eggs.  Here is a quick and simple version of it without the sauce. The runny egg yolk from the over easy cooked eggs will act as the sauce.  I serve it with a simple salad of spring greens and cherry tomatoes that I season with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, and shredded cheese (the same I used for the Croque). 

I love to use brioche bread, since it’s very light and soft. I find that Challah bread is too sweet for this recipe; it’s better for making French toast (Pain Perdu). When you buy a loaf of brioche, unless you are going to use all of it by the next day, I recommend slicing it and freezing it. This way you will always have the right bread when you are in a mood for a Croque. There is  no need to thaw the bread when assembling the sandwich, the grill will take care of that.

This is a perfect recipe for a weekend brunch.

Preparation time: 15 minutes.

Ingredients for one serving:

2 slices brioche bread
2-4 tbsp shredded cheese (Parmesan, Gruyere, Provolone, etc.)
2 slices smoked ham/chicken/turkey
1 tsp butter/oil - for frying the eggs
2 eggs

On one slice of brioche sprinkle 1-2 tbsp shredded cheese, place the meet of your choice, and on top of that sprinkle the rest of the shredded cheese.

Cover with the second slice of brioche and grill it in a Panini grill, or in a pan with a heavy Panini-press on top, on medium high heat for 7-10 minutes, or until the bread becomes crispy and the cheese is melted. Because the brioche is such a delicate bread that burns easily, I prefer to start the cooking on a cold surface and then turn on the heat. This way the cheese and the meet have more time to cook.

Just before your Croque is ready, fry the eggs over easy and then place them on the grilled sandwich.