4 Slices of Thinly Sliced Ham
3 Slices of Two Types of Sliced Cheese – Cheddar, Gruyere, Edam or Emmental all work as do hard Goats Cheeses
2 Slices of Medium Sliced White Bread
2 tbsp Mayonnaise – the sweet japanese kind is yummy with this, but I also like the flavoured ones, I have used truffle flavour
2 tbsp Salted Butter
- Spread the slices of bread with mayonnaise and be generous.
- Layer one kind of cheese then the ham, and finally the other kind of cheese.
- Press the top slice down on the ham and cheese to make sure they stay together, be firm but not ruff.
- Melt a tbsp of butter in a frying pan until the butter is bubbling but not colouring.
- Place the sandwich in the pan on top of the butter and turn it in a circle to make sure the butter covers the whole sandwich and then press down lightly. Fry for 5 mins on a low/medium heat or until you can see the cheese is melting on the bottom slice and the bread is golden brown.
- Now you need to flip the sandwich. You need to add the second tbsp of butter to the pan in between. If your a nervous flipper, turn the sandwich onto a plate and then slide it off back into the frying pan, adding the butter in between.
- Turn and press the sandwich down again and repeat the 5 mins fry time.
- When all the cheese is melted and beginning to ooze out the sides when prodded its ready.
- Slice the sandwiches in half and eat straight away.
As a Canapé or Nibble
- Cut the crusts off and then cut the sandwiches into four.
- Grate more cheese and place a generous pinch on the top of each quarter, and then salt and pepper.
- Grill the quarters on a nonstick tray in the oven for 5 mins or until the cheese is beginning to colour.
- Top them off with fried quails eggs (and a drop of truffle oil if your feeling really decadent!). Making a homage to a mini croque madam!
For advanced party planning these can be cooked to the point of readiness for the oven grill a day or two before and kept ready to be reheated on the day. Trust me they are a real crowd pleaser.
The above recipe is the base for many variations on the theme.
Just add onion marmalade, sautéed apple slices, mustard etc for more excitements.
For inspiration check out the many blogs dedicated to this classic.