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Course: Soups & Sandwiches
Keyword: Brunch, Eggs, French, Mr. Crunchy with an Egg (Mrs. Crunchy), Sandwiches

Mr. Crunchy with an Egg (Mrs. Crunchy)

ACTIVE TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Photo by Lynne Calamia
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  • 2 tablespoons 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 fluid ounces whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves


  • 4 (1/2-inch thick) slices sourdough bread
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced Black Forest ham, cut into 1-inch wide strips
  • 8 ounces Gruyere, grated
  • 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
ACTIVE TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings


  • For the bechamel: Melt the butter in a 4-quart 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 continuously, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Set the sauce aside to cool and thicken slightly more while preparing the sandwiches.
  • For the sandwiches: Set an oven rack 6 inches under the broiler and heat the broiler to high. Line a half-sheet pan with aluminum foil and coat with a little nonstick cooking spray. Set the bread slices on the pan, then spread equally with the mustard. Top the bread slices with 2 ounces each of the ham.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the Gruyere with the herbs de Provence. Cover the ham evenly with the bechamel and top each with 2 ounces of the Gruyere mixture. Broil these open-faced sandwiches until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, add the oil to a medium saute 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 more. Place each egg on top of a sandwich.
  • Serve with a knife and fork and plenty of napkins.
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