Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sandwich season

As I am preparing for travel, I am incorporating easier meals into our weekly menu. Although, I sometimes give people hell for a plain boring lunch sandwich, I do like the idea of having a snazzy sandwich with salad or soup at dinner. Last week, before heading out to Chicago, I made croque monsieur. I jazzed it up a bit with some fresh tomato and it was delicious and a perfect meal with a small salad.

Ingredients (for 2 sandwiches)
1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano (grated)
3/4 cup gruyere (grated)
1/2 cup Bechamel Sauce* below
4 slices bread
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
5-6 slices ham
1 ripe tomato

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Melt half of the Gruyère and all of the parmigiano-reggiano into the Bechamel sauce.
3. Toast bread in oven.
4. Spread Dijon mustard on one slice of bread.
5. Add the ham slices and about half of the remaining Gruyère cheese. Add slice of tomato and top with the other toasted bread slice.
6. Spoon the Bechamel sauce onto the top of the sandwich.
7. Sprinkle with the remaining Gruyère cheese.
8. Place on a broiling pan and bake in the oven for 5 minutes.
9. Turn on the broiler and broil for an additional 5 minutes. (Until the cheese topping is bubbly and lightly browned.)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour*
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
salt and pepper to taste (optional)

1. Heat the butter in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat until melted.
2. Add the flour and stir until smooth.
3. Add the milk and stir until smooth.
4. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper.
5. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes.

For a thin sauce use 1 tablespoon of flour and butter.
For a thick sauce use 3 tablespoons of flour and butter.
I used a hearty grain bread, but any firm bread would do.
Caution - this sandwich will be hot and you will want to eat it fast. Slow down.
Now that is dinner.

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