Basically, this is a really decadent ham and cheese sandwich with an egg on top to elevate it from a Monsieur to a Madame. I like my egg sunny side up and on the runny side, so I can swirl the cheese sauce into the warm yolk. A simple green-leaf salad with lemon juice makes a refreshing accompaniment.

Serves 2


For the Mornay Sauce (Makes about 2 cups):
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups milk (whole or 2 percent)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup coarsely grated Gruyère (about 3 ounces)

  • Unsalted butter, softened, for spreading
  • 4 slices white sandwich bread
  • Dijon mustard, for spreading (optional)
  • 4 to 6 slices cooked ham
  • 3/4 cup grated Gruyère or Emmenthaler (about 3 ounces)
  • 2 large eggs
  • Freshly cracked black pepper


    To make the Mornay sauce, melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute (do not let brown). Add the milk, whisking constantly. Bring to a low boil and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes more. Once it boils, if the sauce is too thick, add a bit more milk to thin. Season with the salt and pepper and nutmeg to taste. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese. Set aside until ready to use.

    Butter each bread slice on both sides and top with a smear of Dijon mustard, if using. Top 2 of the slices with the ham. Top the ham with most of the cheese, saving about 1/4 cup for the next step. Cover with the remaining bread slices.

    Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Place the sandwiches, buttered side down, into the skillet, pressing gently with the back of the spatula. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the bottom is lightly golden. Top with the Mornay sauce and divide the remaining 1/4 cup cheese between the 2 sandwiches.

    Heat the broiler to high, place the skillet in the oven and broil the sandwiches for 1 to 2 minutes (be careful not to burn), until the sauce is golden brown and bubbling.

    Meanwhile, cook the eggs sunny side up in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Top each sandwich with an egg and serve at once, garnished with black pepper.

    From A Mouthful of Stars by Kim Sunée/Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC.

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