Croque Madame

A Croque Madame is one of those things that sound very extravagant, but when it comes down to it is very simple and rustic... basically, it is a french of a ham and cheese sandwich topped with an egg.  It is one of my favorite things to have for breakfast or lunch.  The melted cheese and slightly runny yolk make it seem so deceivingly decadent and rich.  It is also one of those things for which I always seem to have the ingredients.

Croque Madame for One

1 piece of bread
1/2 tablespoon of butter
2 slices of ham
1 slice of cheese
1 egg
salt & pepper

I use one large skillet on medium heat for the entire thing.  In one corner of the skillet I put the buttered bread to toast.  In another corner the slices of ham.  Then I crack the egg right into the skillet.
Turn the ham and the bread to cook on both sides, but do not turn the egg... it is served on top "Sunny Side Up."

After about 2 minutes, I pile the ham onto the bread, top it with cheese.  If the bread is getting to toasted, you can go ahead and put it on a plate while the egg finishes.  The egg will cook for 2-3 minutes more until the yolk just starts to firm up.

 Put the egg right on top of cheese, ham and toast.  Top it with sea salt & pepper.