As I read the intro to the recipe and realized it was a croque-monsieur with a fried egg thrown on top, the sandwich jettisoned to the MUST MAKE list tout de suite. So I ripped the pages out, brought it home to show hubbs and he agreed, we needed to have this for dinner ASAP.

Basically,  the croque-monsieur, it's ham & cheese (usually gruyère or emmental) between two slices of bread that have been slathered with a bechamel sauce, and then more cheese on top. It's baked until the edges are lightly browned and the cheese is melty and bubbly. Once it comes out of the oven, you slap a fried egg on top to create the croque-madame, throw a nice salad next to it and call it heaven on a plate.

I made a few changes to the recipe. I couldn't find the jambon de Paris ham it called for, so I used prosciutto. I'm not a big bechamel sauce by itself kinda gal, so I decided to doctor it up by tossing in a couple generous handfuls of gruyère (I still had quite a bit left over from the bread) and just the barest peench of ground mustard. I used a loaf of French miche, which I bought at Panera - miche, I assume, means fakking huge. It's a very large square loaf of French bread just perfect for grilling, baking, toasting and of course, making a croque-madame. :)

Hubbs made a cucumber, tomato, olive & red onion salad in balsamic vinaigrette to go with and I think that's really a must. At least for us.. this sammie is rich, kids. It definitely needs a salad or other light side with it. I had considered frying potatoes & onions, making our dinner more breakfast-like, but am glad that I didn't.

So who doesn't like a ham & cheese sammie, eh? I like them, they are O.K., not my favorite but I've eaten many in my day. Who hasn't? Feel about the same way? Kinda meh? Yeah well.. make this kicked up hot ham & cheese sandwich and I doubt you'll ever go back to the usual. We were both amazed at how good this was. Admittedly, the prosciutto wasn't the right ham. It was too salty, but that still didn't take away much from the sandwich in whole. And it was fun to eat a "gourmet" hot ham & cheese with a fork & knife! I suppose you could pick it up and eat it as you would any other sammie, but it'd be kinda messy.. but hey, if that's your thing, go for it. ;)

I urge you all to go out and buy a good ham that's not too salty, a big chunk of gruyère or emmental (I'm sure Swiss would be just fine) and a dozen eggs and get to making this for your dinner this week - and then throw it into your rotation every once in a while. It's a bit of a splurge both in price and calories, but you won't be sorry after you take that first bite. Trust me. SO. FAKKIN. GOOD.