For a few years now, my weekend ritual has involved heading to the farmer’s market. I change it up a bit Orange Grove, Eveleigh and now EPIC markets, all filled to the brim with amazing fresh veggies and produce. But if we are going to be honest the main draw card to any market is the bacon and egg rolls – you gotta have em! My favourite is Bird Cow Fish Alex Herbert‘s Crooked Madame.
A “Crooked Madam” is not what first comes to mind when you think of a bacon and egg roll, I know, but the fancier the market, the fancier the roll. BCF serve their “Crooked Madam” on fresh slices of sourdough with gooey gruyere cheese, ham all topped with a perfectly cooked runny egg. You can have your Madam with mustard and BBQ sauce to, although I opt to have mine “nude”.
My Crunchy Ladies were initially heavily inspired by BCF’s and the traditional Croque Madame. A Croque Madame is a variation of the French “Croque Monsieur” they both translate to crunchy Mr and Mrs. While there are numerous variations the core ingredients are bread, ham, cheese, and bechamel. A madam is distinctive because it is topped with an egg – this may be a fertility dig, but who knows? My dish is not as refined so I dubbed it Crunchy Ladies.
Slowly my Ladies have evolved to become a rich and may I say delicious, dinner toastie. While the bare essentials remain the same it’s a good idea to pair these Ladies with something acidic such as a quick pickled cabbage salad.
What you need:
- 2 slices of bread per person – any type will do, I favour Sour-dough or brown bread with a seed crust for extra crunch
- Aoili – home made or jarred
- Cheese for melting – from tasty to swiss or gruyere again pick your poison
- Anchovies (optional but delicious)
- Butter for toasting
- 1 egg per person (or two for giants)
Let’s do this:
- More an order of assembly than a recipe may I recommend the following:
- Butter one side of each slice of bread (as in one buttered, one plain)
- Spread Aoli
- Place Generous amounts of ham on bread
- Equally generous handfuls of cheese is next
- Optional anchovies – this depends greatly on the size of your bread and the anchovies but I went for 4 each – even on the baby sandwich
- Toast the sandwiches – You can make these sandwiches in a sandwich toaster or on the fry pan – not having a press I often just fry these up in the same pan as the eggs!
- Remove the Crooked Ladies from the fry pan and let cool on your serving platter
- Fry the egg and plop them on top of the Ladies
I always serve my Crooked Ladies with a quick pickled cabbage to cut through some of the richness. It’s great on the sandwich but understandably makes it soggy. For this all you need is a lemon, verjuice and some salt.
- Finely slice 1/4 cabbage (much finer than my pictured example)
- Squeeze the juice of 1 – 2 lemons into a bowl adding 1 tbs of verjuice and a generous pinch of salt
- Coat the cabbage in the dressing and leave while you assemble the sandwiches or for 15 minutes mixing occasionally.
enjoy responsibly xx