Southern Belle Croque Madame

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READY IN: 40mins
Recipe by Kathi Ann

French fare with a Southern accent! I came up with this after seeing a version of the sandwich made by Rachel Ray. A traditional southern breakfast (bacon, eggs, grits) is one of my favorite meals - anytime of day. I figured, why not assemble it in a whole new way? Made with sliced/fried polenta (instead of bread), and apple-wood smoked bacon (in lieu of ham). Creamy, cheesy, w/bacon & white gravy - I mean, a bechamel sauce - to boot! (Note: if you want larger "sandwiches", slice the polenta lengthwise instead of into rounds.)

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat oven to 400*F.
  2. For the bechamel sauce: Melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium low heat in a small saucepan and whisk in the flour, cooking for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Whisk the milk into the butter/flour mixture and bring to a bubble, then turn heat to low.
  4. Season the mixture by adding the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and Dijon mustard.
  5. Remove from heat when sauce coats the back of a spoon.
  6. Add ½ cup grated Gruyere and the Parmesan, stirring until incorporated, and set aside.
  7. To prepare the polenta: Cut into ½ inch slices and pan fry on both sides in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat until crispy & golden brown.
  8. Place pan-fried polenta slices onto a lightly oiled baking sheet.
  9. To assemble the "sandwiches": Top half of the polenta slices with a dollup of bechamel sauce, 2 slices of bacon each (folded or torn to fit), and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyere.
  10. Top each with another piece of pan-fried polenta.
  11. Sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere and bake the "sandwiches" for 5 minutes.
  12. Remove from the oven.
  13. Using a spatula, top each open-faced sandwich with a fried egg, sunny-side up.
  14. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce and garnish with chopped herbs if desired.
  15. Serve hot.

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