Croque Madame (croak muh dam) might not sound like comfort food with it’s fancy formal name. It sounds more like a grand lady, gloved and hatted, or maybe like what you would name your pet frog. When Cindy Rynning of Grape Experiences volunteered “comfort food” for this month’s Wine Pairing Weekend theme, we knew croque madame was the dish for us. Quick enough for a Sunday night and simply decadent with its melted cheese and crusty bread. I don’t know if French people every sit around their very chic apartments in sweats, but if they do, this croque madame is what they would eat.
- 4 small slices bread
- 3-4 oz gruyere cheese
- 4 slices of ham
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon stoneground mustard
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 farm fresh eggs
- I place my bread slices on a cookie sheet on the middle rack under a hot broiler to make them drier and a bit toasted. After you remove them move the rack up closer to the broiler (second position). Keep the broiler heated. Slice half of the cheese and grate the other half on a fine grater. Melt one tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Begin another tablespoon of butter melting in a large skillet over low heat on a separate burner. Add the flour and stir into the butter until a thick paste is formed and the flour begins to toast a little. Add the milk a little at a time to form a thick sauce. Remove from heat and stir in grated cheese, nutmeg, mustard, salt and pepper. Place the bread slices on the heated buttered skillet. Top with the cheese sauce, sliced cheese, ham slices, and more cheese sauce. Cook a few minutes until bottom of bread begins to brown, lifting with a spatula to check. Move the bread to a cookie sheet and put under the hot broiler to melt and brown the tops. Meanwhile melt your remaining tablespoon of butter in the skillet where you cooked your sandwiches - it should still be hot. Fry two eggs over easy. Remove bread slices. Stack two on each plate and lay one egg on top of each.
And just because it is comfort food does not mean your ingredients can’t be special. Our bread is homemade. Our eggs come from farmers we know that raise free range hens. That ham was raised by a 4H kid and taken to a small batch humane processing operation. And if you have never used freshly grated nutmeg, well let’s just say you will never go back to the powdered stuff.
As for a wine selection, sparkling may say celebration, but is also says comfort. Once you open it, you know you are going to finish it. If you are opening something as delightful as Treveri Brut Prestige, you know you are spending the evening with someone you really like. You might as well tuck in for the evening and pass the bottle ’till it’s all been enjoyed.
Now get into your comfy sweats, pour yourself a glass, and see what our wine pairing weekend friends suggest for comfort food and wine pairings.
- Cindy of Grape Experiences shared Wine and Comfort Food: Alder Fels Chardonnay and My (New)Favorite Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla posted her Kick Ass Mac’N’ Cheese and Kung Fu Girl Columbia Valley Riesling
- Lori of Dracaena Wines wrote about Comfort Food with a Side of Wine
- Jill of l’Occasion is Cookingat Home: Affordable Bordeaux & Homemade Pasta
- Jade of Tasting Pour contributed her recipe for Croque Madame and Treveri Brut Prestige #winePW
- Nancy and Peter of Pull That Cork tempted us
with Brandade de Morue and a Lovely Lirac
- Wendy from A Day in the Life of the Farm made us feel warm and cozy with Mushroom Stroganoff with MarkhamSauvignon Blanc
- David of Cooking Chat explained his Roasted Root Vegetable Soup and Wine Pairing
- Michelle of Rockin Red Blog is Finding Comfort in Food and Wine
- Lauren of The Swirling Dervish made us want to visit warmer weather for Winter Comfort Food forThose 80 Degree Days
- Gwendolyn of Wine Predator is thrilled to
give us her ideas for Valentine’s Day: Share a Special Red Wine PairedWith Comfort Foods with Your Sweetheart
- Sue of Palatable Pastime shared her notes for Rigatoni with Bolognese Sauce