Croque Monsieur is a ham and cheese toasted sandwich. Croque Madame is the same, with an added fried egg on top.
I say, forget the ham. Use 3 rashers of dry-cured smoked streaky bacon instead. Fry them in a pan until they begin to caramelize, then leave to cool on kitchen tissue so that they crisp up.
I say, forget the toast. Use a thick slice of Rye or Sourdough bread instead, rub generously with garlic, then rub both sides with olive oil. Fry the bread in the bacon fat until both sides turn golden, then leave to drain on kitchen tissue.
Crack a free-range egg into the very hot pan. Season with salt, crushed black pepper and a sprinkle of smoked paprika. Egg whites firm, yolk still runny, please.
I say, forget the subtle cheese flavour. Be bold, use blue cheese, or Reblochon, or at the very least use Gruyere.
Now make a sandwich: bread, then bacon, then cheese, then egg. Optionally top with a few capers or dress with a spoon full of Sauce Bearnaise or Sauce Hollandaise.
Voila. This is now known as a Croque Man. It’s my favourite bachelor meal, but it is so good that even the Missus would like it.