Who doesn’t like a grilled cheese sandwich? In the U.S., we consider this comfort food. In France, they have a completely different version and a funny name for it, Croque Monsieur. They also add ham to their grilled cheese but if you add an egg on top you have a Croque Madame. You may have also heard of the Monte Cristo sandwich which is a variation of the Croque Monsieur served with preserves.
Living in Europe has presented a huge challenge to me in 2 ways. First, I have a dairy allergy. Second, Europe’s food is covered and smothered in dairy. If there is anything I miss, it’s cheese. I still go into the cheese boutiques in France and just look around and smell it. My favorite non dairy cheeses, Daiya and Go Veggie, aren’t available in my location. Please don’t feel too sorry for me because I have become quite good at modifying regional dishes to fit my dietary restrictions. Recently, I visited Strasbourg, France, and became totally obsessed with French food. So when presented with our pizza theme, I was determined to make a French pizza. It’s was totally worth it, and I don’t even miss the cheese. The sauce or roux on this pizza is amazing with the runny egg. If you don’t like runny yolks, cook it for more than the recommended time. You won’t believe how easy this recipe is! A traditional Croque Madame doesn’t come with tomatoes or basil. I think it makes a delicious and nutritious addition, giving it more dimension. If you come to Europe, put Strasbourg on your list. It’s amazing!
- 4 slices of Gluten Free/Dairy Free Bread (I used Rudi's multigrain)
- Olive oil for brushing
- 3 small tomatoes, sliced (I used cherry size vine ripe)
- 4 basil leaves, chiffonade
- 5 slices of ham from deli, chopped
- 4 eggs
- 1 Tbsp. Earth Balance margarine
- 1 Tbsp. Rice Flour
- 3/4 cup Non-Dairy Milk
- 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. Dijon Mustard
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 180 degrees Celcius.
- Lightly brush olive on bottom of 9x9 glass dish.
- Brush both sides of 4 pieces of bread with olive oil.
- Place bread in dish.
- Place prepared ham, basil, and tomato to the side.
- Melt margarine in a small pan over medium heat.
- Add rice flour, whisking until it forms a paste.
- Remove from heat and let cool 2-3 minutes.
- Return pan to heat and add milk, nutmeg, and mustard, whisking frequently or it may burn.
- Once sauce thickens, remove from heat. (If you don't eat dairy free, you can add 1/4 cup grated cheese here-preferably a harder cheese)
- Spread 2 tablespoons of sauce on top of each slice of bread.
- Divide ham and tomato between 4 slices of bread.
- Crack eggs one at a time. Remove the majority of the egg white so it doesn't run over and make your pizzas mushy.
- Place one egg on each pizza.
- Sprinkle with most of basil. If you can eat cheese, sprinkle some reserved cheese over each pizza.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Bon Appetit!
Recipe adapted from Croque Madame Muffins by Little Paris Kitchen
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