"These crab and cheese toasts are my take on the classic French sandwich. They're so delicious and make a really impressive brunch, lunch, or late-night supper." –Rach

Rachael Ray


Credit: Photography by Kate Mathis

Recipe Summary



Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 375°. Place the bread directly on a rack in or near the center of the oven and bake until lightly toasted, 5 to 6 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan or skillet, melt about 2 1/2 tbsp. butter. Whisk in the flour, then the milk; season with salt, white pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and gently simmer the béchamel sauce, stirring often, until thick enough to coat a spoon, about 2 minutes. Remove the sauce from heat. Whisk in the Dijon.

  • Brush the toast with some butter (about 2 tbsp. total) and place on a baking sheet lined with foil. Switch on the broiler.

  • In a large skillet, melt the remaining 3 1/2 tbsp. butter over medium to medium-high heat. Add the celery, shallot, and garlic; stir until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Stir in the parsley, thyme, and lemon zest; cook, stirring often, until well incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the sherry; cook until absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape the vegetables into a bowl. Mix in the crabmeat, Old Bay, hot sauce (if using), and Worcestershire. Stir in about 2/3 cup of the béchamel sauce.

  • Loosely layer 2 slices of ham on top of each toast. Top with the crabmeat, dividing equally, then top with the remaining béchamel sauce, the Gruyère, and Parm. Broil until the cheeses are golden in spots, 5 to 6 minutes.

  • If you’d like to make croque madames, heat a tab of butter in a nonstick skillet over medium. Crack in the eggs and cook until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny, 2 to 3 minutes. Place 1 egg on top of each sandwich.

  • Garnish the sandwiches with chives or tarragon.