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French Onion Croque Madame Brunch

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes

Serves: 4-6 people

Cuisine: Main

Skill Level: Easy

 

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE ONIONS:

  • 4 yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

FOR THE SANDWICHES:

  • 1 1/2 cups milk (375 milliliters)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (25 grams)
  • 1 1/4 cups grated Gruyère or Emmental cheese, divided (150 grams)
  • 8 slices sourdough multigrain rye, toasted, such as Stonemill
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 8 thin slices ham, optional (about 150 grams)
  • 4 eggs
  • Butter, for frying eggs
  • Fresh thyme, for garnish

 

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. In a rimmed baking tray, scatter onions, garlic and thyme and drizzle with olive oil, brandy and maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Cover the baking tray tightly with foil then place in the oven to cook for 2 hours.
  2. After cooking, remove the foil and stir in vinegar and return to the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until caramelized. Remove from the oven, season with more salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
  3. Turn the oven off and change it to broiler setting on low. Line a separate baking tray with foil and set aside. In a saucepan over medium-low, heat milk until steaming.
  4. For the mornay sauce, melt the butter in a separate saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle in flour and whisk. While whisking, slowly add the milk. Add the salt, pepper, herbes de Provence and freshly grated nutmeg, then bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened. Remove the sauce from the heat, then whisk in the Parmigiano-Reggiano and 1/4 cup of the Gruyère or Emmental.
  5. In the prepared baking tray, arrange half the bread and spread 1 teaspoon of Dijon over each slice. Top each with two slices of ham and 3 tablespoons caramelized onions. Divide half the cream sauce, and spread over the ham and onions. Grate around 2 tablespoons Gruyère or Emmental over each bread slice, then finish each sandwich with another piece of bread. Heap the remaining cream sauce over the sandwiches, then grate and scatter the remaining cheese.
  6. Broil the sandwiches in the oven until golden brown and bubbling. Meanwhile, in a pan over medium-high heat, fry the eggs in a little butter until crisp around the edges, making sure to leave the yolks runny.
  7. Remove the sandwiches from the oven, arrange on a plate and top with the fried eggs. Scatter a few fresh thyme leaves over the plate, and season with some extra salt and pepper, then serve and enjoy!

 

SHOPPING LIST

Golden Rooster or Camberwell Market Poultry

  • Eggs

 

Nick & Sue’s Deli or Camberwell Market Deli

  • Gruyère or Emmental cheese
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Sliced Ham
  • Sourdough multigrain rye bread
  • Olive oil
  • Dijon mustard
  • Milk
  • Butter

 

Camberwell Market Fruit & Veg 

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Thyme
  • Black pepper
  • Herbes de Provence
  • Nutmeg

 

Pantry

  • Kosher salt
  • Brandy
  • Maple syrup
  • White wine vinegar
  • Flour