2 thick slices of Australian ham
4 slices of sourdough bread
cup Gruyere cheese (or any cheese), grated
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
40g butter, soft
2 free-range eggs, poached
cracked black pepper
asparagus spears to serve
Melt the butter in a small saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook the mixture for 1 minute.
Remove the pan from the heat and gradually whisk in the milk and cream and combine well. Return the pan to the heat and cook, stirring continuously, until sauce boils and thickens. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper.
Spread the sliced sourdough with a little bit of Dijon mustard on one side only. Spread the same side with a generous amount of the cheese sauce.
Top with a slice of ham and cover with the other slice of bread. Repeat with the remaining bread, sauce and ham.
Spread soft butter over the top of the sandwich.
Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and gently place the sandwich into the pan butter side down. Carefully butter the topside of the bread. Cook the sandwich for 4 minutes on each side until crisp and golden.
Heat the cheese sauce for 2 minutes.
Serve the Croque Madam on a plate drizzled with cheese sauce and topped with a poached or fried egg. Garnish with cracked black pepper and steamed asparagus spears.
Tip: Cheese sauce may be made ahead of time and kept refrigerated for up to five days.