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Mr. Crunchy with an Egg (Mrs. Crunchy)

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter

1 ounce all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

8 ounces whole milk

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves


Nonstick cooking spray, for the pan

Four 1/2-inch-thick slices sourdough bread

1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

8 ounces thinly sliced Black Forest ham cut into 1-inch wide strips

8 ounces grated Gruyere

2 teaspoons herbes de Provence

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 large eggs

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. For the bechamel: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, whisking occasionally, until the roux smells nutty. Whisk in the nutmeg, salt, white pepper, milk and thyme. Cook the milk mixture, whisking to smooth, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Set the sauce aside to cool and thicken slightly more while preparing the sandwiches.
  2. For the sandwiches: Set the top rack 6 inches under the broiler and heat the broiler to high. Line a half-sheet pan with aluminum foil and spray with a little nonstick cooking spray. Set the bread slices on the pan, then spread with mustard.
  3. Top the bread slices with 2 ounces each of the ham. Combine the Gruyere with the herbs de Provence in a medium bowl. Cover the ham evenly with the bechamel and top each with 2 ounces of the Gruyere mixture. Broil these open-face sandwiches for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.
  4. Meanwhile, add the oil to a medium nonstick frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, crack the eggs into the pan (it's OK if they run together). Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Cook until the whites start to set, 2 to 3 minutes, and then cover and continue cooking until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny, 1 to 2 minutes. Place each on top of a sandwich.
  5. Serve with a knife and fork and plenty of napkins.