John Besh’s Croque-Madame

Apr 17th, 2016 | By | Category: blog, cook something, meat and poultry
Croque Madame

Croque Madame

Chef John Besh operates seven restaurants, six of them in Louisiana, and one called Lüke in San Antonio, where you will find this sandwich on the menu.

It’s a take on the familiar grilled ham and cheese sandwich Americans love, but with a French twist.

Chef tops this delicious version with sauce Mornay and a sunny side up fried egg.

There is a “masculine” version of the sandwich called croque-monsieur, served without the sauce and egg.

Those who speculate about the names of things, suspect the croque-madame received its name because the egg adorning it resembles a woman’s hat. Oh la la.

Serve this sandwich for any meal, alone or with simple sides like fruit salad, pommes frites (that’s fried potatoes, or French fries to you and me), or a green salad.

Even kids like this sandwich that is best eaten with a knife and fork. I suppose you can theoretically eat this foodstuff by hand, but if you do be sure to have plenty of napkins at the ready.

serves 6

Here is a simple sandwich that solely relies on the use of good quality ingredients.  We use a good sturdy sourdough that can stand up to the heavy mornay that gets spread over the top of it.


  • 12 slices of sourdough
  • 2-3 pounds quality ham, thinly sliced (we use Wright Brand from northern Texas)
  • 1 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 pound Emmenthaler Swiss cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • mornay for spreading, recipe follows
  • 6 organic yard eggs


  1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees
  2. Spread six slices of sourdough with Dijon mustard and the other six with the mayonnaise.
  3. Divide the ham and Swiss amongst the sandwiches.  Melt two tablespoon of butter at a time and press the sandwiches individually in a sauté pan or in a Panini press (if you’re cool enough to have one) until golden brown.
  4. Spread the mornay over the top and on the sides of the sandwich.
  5. Place the sandwiches in oven until warmed throughout, about 15 minutes.
  6. In a separate sauté pan melt 1 tablespoon of butter at a time and cook eggs sunny side up.

Sauce Mornay


  • 1/2  pound whole butter
  • 1/2 pound all purpose flour
  • ½ an onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 quart milk
  • 1 cup shredded emmenthaler swiss
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 Tablespoon kosher salt


  1. Begin by sticking the cloves through the bay leave on the onion.
  2. Next melt the butter in a small pot and add the onions.  coat the onions with the butter, cooking slowly for 8-10 minutes.
  3.  Add the flour to form a loose roux, continuing to cook while coating the onions with the hot roux for 10-12 minutes making sure not to brown the roux.
  4. Next add the milk and whisk constantly to prevent from clumping.  Whisk the sauce until it begins to thicken.  Add half of the cheese and nutmeg and whisk until fully melted.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat and let cool slightly.  Add the remaining cheese and season with salt.
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