If “put a bird on it” is the unofficial motto of twee hipsters selling hand-knit beanies and organic handbags on Etsy, “put an egg on it” is its culinary counterpart. (I suppose you’re still putting a bird on it, in a sense.)
And I don’t mind. I love a good runny fried egg, and I’m glad that it’s showing up outside of breakfast menus. Pizza? Put an egg on it. Hamburger? Put an egg on it. Pork chop? Put an egg on it.
The French pride themselves on being at the cutting edge of cooking, and on this trend, they have us beat by a good 50 years. The croque monsieur sandwich, which first appeared on French menus in the early 1900s, is a baked or grilled sandwich made with sliced ham and Swiss cheese. Sometime in the 1960s, someone decided to put an egg on it, and the croquet madame was born.
For a good local take on the croque madame, swing by the Creole around lunch time. The Old Town eatery uses brown sugar ham, apple chutney and triple cream brie on crusty bread, and, of course, they put an egg on it.
This is a hearty knife-and-fork sandwich. The apple chutney is not overly sweet, but it offsets the saltiness of the ham in a perfect way. The creamy brie fuses it all together, and the egg provides that savory element that puts it over the top.
Trends come and go, so take advantage of all the new egg-enhanced entrees while you can. Then again, the croque madame has survived half a century, so maybe this trend is here to stay.
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The Creole Kitchen
hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (lunch) and 5-10 p.m. (dinner) Monday-Friday; 8 a.m.-2 p.m. (brunch) and 5-10 p.m. (dinner) Saturday-Sunday; bar opens at 4 p.m. daily
1210 Turner St., Lansing
(517) 371-1361, thecreolelansing.com