Kicked-Up Open-Faced Croque Madame

Do you remember that feeling you'd get as a kid on Valentine's Day?

Kicked-Up Open-Faced Croque Madame

The anticipation and agony experienced while waiting for your beloved to put a Valentine on your desk? This month, you are that kid, and Heidi Robb 's Kicked-Up Open-Faced Croque Madame is your Valentine. It's that good, so enjoy.

Kicked-Up Open-Faced Croque Madame

Mustard Horse Radish Slather

1 T whole grain (country) mustard
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T prepared horseradish
2 T mayonnaise

Everything else

2 T unsalted butter
2 T all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk; warmed
Pinch grated nutmeg
1 T Dijon mustard

Kosher salt to taste

1 1/4 cup shredded Gruyere; divided
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
4 slices Challah or Brioche, buttered and toasted on one side
12 oz shaved Black Forest ham

Minced fresh parsley and chives to finish

4 fried eggs for “Madame"


  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the Mustard-Horseradish slather and set aside.
  • Béchamel: In a small, heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat until bubbly and foaming. Add the flour and whisk constantly another 30 seconds. Whisk in the warmed milk and stir until thickened. Off heat, stir in the Dijon mustard, 1/4 cup Gruyere and salt to taste.
  • On a sheet pan, spread the unbuttered/untoasted side of each slice of bread with Mustard-Horseradish Slather. Distribute sliced ham over the slather, and top each with Béchamel, remaining Gruyere and a dusting of Pecorino. Bake sandwiches for 5-7 minutes until warmed through. Place under broiler until tops are browned and bubbly. Top with fried egg, and dust with minced parsley and chives.
Kicked-Up Open-Faced Croque Madame