From “What’s Cooking” in the Home Town section of the November 2013 issue: Avi Sekerel dishes on the popular croque-madame served at Saquella Café in Boca Raton (Royal Palm Place, 410 Via De Palmas, 561-338-8840).


8 slices soft white bread
1 cup béchamel
8 slices Swiss cheese
16 slices of ham
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 large eggs

Preparation: Spread spoon of béchamel (see recipe below) on each of slices. Place Swiss cheese and 4 slices of ham on 4 slices of bread.  Top ham with second slice of Swiss cheese and top with second slice of bread when béchamel is on top. Place in preheated oven to 350 degrees for 8 to 12 minutes. While sandwich is in oven, make 4 sunny-side eggs in pan. Once Sandwich is ready, top with egg and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Béchamel Sauce

3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoon diced onion
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt 
Pinch white pepper
Pinch nutmeg
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Preparation: In medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until transparent. Add flour, season with salt and pinch of nutmeg and white pepper, stirring until mixture is smooth, lightly golden and with a nutty aroma (around 4 minutes). Whisking constantly, add wine and milk. Add mustard and white wine; whisk until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, until sauce comes to boil and lightly thickens. Turn heat off and let rest until ready to use.