List of ingredients
12 quail eggs
12 large slices of white bread
4 slices of cured ham
300ml béchamel sauce
60g Soumaintrain cheese
A young Chablis
A perfect match for a classic, open Chablis with all the intense aromas of its youth and terroir, with a perfect balance between vigor and richness. This makes for instant conviviality with notes of acacia, apple, and lemon zest, supported with that touch of smoky minerality that comes from a young Chablis. The croque-madame gives a layered effect of multiple textures: Crunchy and light with the toast; sweet, thick, and fatty with the cheese and eggs; creamy and velvety with the béchamel, and a delicious bite of ham. The ingredients in this creation demand a wine that is both vigorous to lighten the dish, but one with body to complement its generosity.
Cut out 5-6cm rounds of bread with a cutter and toast lightly.
Garnish the toasts with a little béchamel, add a slice of ham and some Soumaintrain cheese, and then top with another piece of toast.
Melt a little butter in a non-stick pan and add the quail eggs in greased ring molds. Fry over a gentle heat. Season.
Melt some more butter in another pan and then add the croque-madame, frying on both sides until golden. Place the quail eggs on top of the croque-madame, season, garnish with some chopped herbs and serve.
The villages of Chablis and Soumaintrain are around 30km apart. The wines of Chablis and Soumaintrain cheese share both a territory and a history with the Abbey of Pontigny, where the Cistercian monks began to develop vines originally planted by the Romans. It was also they who built up the cheesemaking activity, at a time when farmers paid part of their tithe to the clergy in mature cheese. But beyond their historical and territorial connections, one is struck by the perfect partnership they make. The vivacity of Chablis wines brings out the creaminess of the Soumaintrain and supports its slight acidity. It makes for a harmonious whole, with neither dominating in the mouth.