NYT Cooking: This is a variation of Amanda Hesser’s <a href="http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017345-croque-monsieur">croque-monsieur</a>, a ham and Gruyere sandwich topped with béchamel. Here, we invite you to pop a fried egg on top. Voila! A croque-madame (reportedly named such because the egg resembles a lady's wide-brimmed hat).
Every Francophile has eaten a croque-monsieur, which is essentially a hot ham and cheese sandwich, the top spread with a layer of béchamel sauce and grated cheese, then grilled until golden and bubbly You can get one in any café, where it is eaten from a little plate, either at a small table or standing at the bar, using a knife and fork A croque-madame is exactly the same, with a fried egg on top
A mash up of 2 favorite sandwiches - a ham and cheese sandwich is slathered with a béchamel sauce, then battered and cooked in a skillet Monte Cristo style. Top with powdered sugar and raspberry jam if desired!