I love Paula Deen- but I didn’t always care for her. There was something about the amount of fat and butter used in her recipes that made me a little uncomfortable. However, slowly but surely, I began to change my mind. It started with a 3-minute clip of her making eggs in a basket which completely changed my breakfast menu. Then there was the episode where she had Albert Pujols and his wife making authentic latino food- it was so fun! But the real tipping point? I became hooked on her croque madame.
The first time I saw it I thought- this looks delicious! Then a few days later I was browsing through a french cookbook and saw the recipe again. I took it as a sign. I bought some ham and swiss and proceeded to make the sandwich. It did not disappoint. Nor has it disappointed in the 5+ times I’ve made it in the past few weeks (I fell in love hard). It’s easy to make and great as breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Give it a try and fall in love with the recipe (and Paula) yourself.
adapted from Paula Deen
2 slices bread
3 slices, gruyere or swiss cheese
3-4 slices deli ham
1 tbsp mayonnaise
3 tbsp unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium skillet or griddle pan heat 1 tbsp of butter over medium heat. Place bread in pan and to toast lightly for a minute or two. Remove bread from pan, add another tbsp of butter to the pan and place bread, un-buttered side, down.
2. To the bread slices add 1 slice of cheese to each slice. Place ham over the cheese and close the sandwich. Cook each side of the sandwich until both sides are toasted. Remove sandwich from the pan and spread a thin layer of mayonnaise over the sandwich. and add another slice of cheese. Put the sandwich on a baking pan and place in the oven.
3. In the original pan, add 1 tbsp of butter and fry an egg to your desired like-ness. Place the fried egg on top of the sandwich and season sparingly with salt and pepper.
I know the mayonnaise sounds disgusting- but I tried it without it and it wasn’t the same. The mayo makes it creamy and adds a lot of flavor. And while Paula cooks up food that is the complete opposite of healthy, it always looks fresh and delicious. And at the end of the day there is one thing you can always say about Paula: she never disappoints.