If you've ever had a hot and gooey Croque Monsieur sandwich, you know how satisfying the combination of really good sliced ham, melty Swiss and a creamy Mornay sauce can be set atop a piece of hearty bread and broiled to golden perfection. Any of Éban's Bakehouse breads work beautifully for this bistro staple, by the way. But for this recipe, I have transformed the classic into a delectable brunch casserole using our Artisan Buns to replace the typical French baguette and finished the casserole with eggs baked on top which transforms it into the Croque Madame! This is such an elegant, rich casserole that pairs perfectly with a simple mixed greens salad with a light vinaigrette dressing to contrast the hearty ham, cheese, egg and creamy Mornay sauce. Serve along side a crisp clean Sparkling Aperol Cocktail and voilà! C'est Si Bon! -Adrienne
Croque Madame Brunch Casserole serves 6-8
- 4 ea Éban's Artisan Buns, cubed and dried or lightly toasted golden brown, about 3 cups
- 6 ea Eggs, preferably organic, plus extra eggs for the top depending on your guest count
- 1 c Whole Milk
- 1 c Half and Half
- 2 sprigs Fresh Rosemary or Thyme, about 1-2 Tbsp finely minced plus a few tops for garnish
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/2 tsp Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
- 3 1/2 c Gruyère cheese, grated and divided
- 2 c Quality Ham, diced
For the Mornay Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Butter
- 1 Tbsp Gluten Free AP Flour
- 1 1/4 c Whole Milk
- pinch Nutmeg, freshly grated
- to taste Salt and Pepper
- Gruyère reserved from above
1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Lightly grease or spray a 2-quart oven-safe casserole dish with pan spray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, 1 cup of milk, all the half and half, rosemary or thyme, salt and pepper.
3. Add the cubed, toasted Artisan Buns to the egg mixture along with 2 cups of the grated cheese and all of the ham.
4. Gently mix the ingredients well and allow to stand several minutes to ensure all the bread is saturated with the egg custard.
5. Transfer the mixture from the bowl to the prepared casserole dish and spread out evenly.
6. Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
7. While the casserole is baking, prepare the Mornay sauce by first melting the butter in a nonstick pan over medium heat.
8. Add the flour and whisk together to make a roux, whisking vigorously 2-3 minutes.
9. Slowly and gradually add 1 cup of the milk, whisking constantly to prevent any lumps from forming.
10. Continue whisking the thickening sauce and add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat when the sauce is smooth and gradually add 1 cup of the reserved shredded Gruyère to the sauce, stirring to incorporate. Add remaining 1/4 cup of milk to thin the sauce to your desired thickness. Cover and set in a warm place until ready to use.
11. Once the casserole has baked 30 minutes, remove the foil and turn the oven to Broil.
12. Pour the Mornay sauce over the casserole, fluffing the casserole with a fork to get the sauce in the center as well as on top. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
13. Set the casserole about 6 inches under the broiler and broil 6-8 minutes uncovered until the sauce just becomes golden brown.
14. Take the casserole from the oven and and carefully make indentations with the back of a spoon for however many eggs you'd like to bake into the Croque Madame casserole.
15. Crack an egg into each indentation and place back under the broiler for 4-6 minutes to your desired doneness of the eggs.
16. Garnish the Croque Madame Casserole with a few reserved rosemary or thyme leaves. Serve with a green salad dressed in a simple vinaigrette and perhaps some fresh fruit.