Slightly odd-sounding but sooo delicious!
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Break the eggs into a large shallow dish, lightly mix, season and stir in the chopped parsley.
Carefully trim a thin slice off the crust of the bread, top and bottom, and discard (or use for breadcrumbs and freeze). Split the remaining loaf in half to create two flat rectangular slices of bread.
Season each slice of bread and build layers of cheese, ham and tomato on one of the two bases, finishing with a twist of black pepper. Top off with the bread lid and press down lightly. Cut carefully in half.
Place one half of the filled sandwich into the egg and parsley and soak for one minute on each side. Lift out the bread shaking off the excess egg. Soak the second half, as before. Make sure the sandwiches get a good soak in the egg mix. Cutting the crusts off allows the egg to really soak into the bread.
Heat a frying pan (non-stick preferably) and add a splash of olive oil. Heat the oil and place one half of the sandwich into the pan - don↑t be tempted to push the sandwich around in the pan. Fry for 2 minutes on each side, or until the egg is cooked through and golden. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.
Place the sandwich in to the hot oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese melts. Remove from the oven and cut each half into 2 pieces. Serve slightly warm.
This makes a great alternative to the traditional French Croque Monsieur. Don't be afraid to experiment with different flavours!
1 large ciabatta loaf
1 tbsp flat leaf parsley
light olive oil
packet Parma ham
Emmental, or your preferred mature cheese, thinly sliced
5 ripe plum tomatoes, skinned, seeds removed
freshly ground black pepper