Today, there was an article in the LA Times about the benefits of coffee. Another new study. Another new theory. Just how many articles can be written about the health benefits of coffee? (Probably the same amount that has been written about the health benefits of red wine).
I’d rather read newsworthy articles. Like the showdown between Netanyahu and Obama. Or Nancy Pelosi’s little mess she talked herself into. Or … where the cast of ‘The Facts of Life’ is now.
I find articles read and discussed over a long, leisurely breakfast somehow seem to be more interesting than those just read behind your desk. Coincidence? I think not. The Croque Madame, the female counterpart of the Croque Monsieur, is a perfect way to prolong breakfast and mull over a few more articles (I made this for T. before our Mozzarella making adventure).
Tweaked from Nancy Silverton’s Sandwich Book, serves 2
Though not a part of the traditional Croque Madame, the rubbed garlic brings out the best of this classic Parisian sandwich. Also, I would definitely recommend a softer cooked egg. The broken, runny yolk is part of the magic of this sandwich. Any other way would be a tragedy.
Music Pairing: Flowers in the Window, Travis, The Invisible Band
- 4 slices sourdough bread, sliced 1/2-3/4 inch thick
- 4 ounces Gruyere cheese, sliced into 1/16-inch thick slices
- 6 ounces good quality ham, sliced into 1/16-inch thick slices
- 2 free range organic eggs
- 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 large garlic clove, sliced in half
- Fleur de sel or kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Assembling the Sandwiches
Butter bread and place slices buttered side down. Cover with cheese slices and 3 or 4 slices of ham in an even layer over the cheese. Place the top slice of bread over the ham, buttered side up. Grill sandwiches according to panini grill. Most should fit two sandwiches nicely. This should only take 2-3 minutes. While warm, rub both sides with a fresh clove of garlic.
Frying the Eggs
Crack each egg into its own small bowl to check that the yolks aren’t broken. In 2, 6-inch non-stick skillets, melt half of butter over medium-high heat until it starts to bubble. Pour 1 egg into each pan, being careful not to break the yolks. Add a teaspoon of water to each pan and sprinkle with fleur de sel. Cook eggs for 3 minutes for a soft-cooked egg and 5-6 minutes for a firmer egg. Center a fry egg over each of the grilled sandwiches and sprinkle with pepper.