Monday, May 28, 2012

Mr. Crunch

It seems as though sandwiches are always getting ragged on. Like when you turn down every restaurant in Atlantic City, even though your BFF is starving, because you "don't feel like a sandwich". (Sorry, Shu.)

Or, as I was shopping for this recipe, the boyfriend (who never complains about sandwiches), turns and says to me, ever so disdainfully, " mean, we're just having a ham and cheese sandwich for dinner?" 

Just a ham and cheese sandwich?  

JUST a ham and cheese sandwich? 

Oh, no.  

No, no, no. 

This is much better than a ham and cheese sandwich. This is a roll-your-eyes-into-the-back-of-your-head-amazeballs-sandwich. Otherwise known as a Croque Monsieur, (a crunchy Mister).

serves 4
adapted from Bon Appetit

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
pinch of nutmeg
1 small bay leaf (or half of a large bay leaf)
salt and pepper

8 slices sourdough bread
8 oz. thin sliced Black Forest ham
8 oz grated Gouda, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

In a small sauce pan, melt the two tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Whisk together with two tablespoons of flour, cook the flour for about a minute. Slowly whisk in the cup of heavy cream. Add the pinch of nutmeg and the bay leaf. Turn up the heat to about medium-high in attempt to reach a boil. Whisk the mixture often, for about 2 minutes, until the sauce thickens. It's going to get really thick, and it will seem like it happens all of a sudden. Don't freak out. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

Preheat broiler. On a foil-covered baking sheet, place 4 slices of bread. Distribute the ham equally among the 4 sandwiches-to-be. Top the ham with 6 oz of grated Gouda, saving the remaining 2 oz for later. Top each sandwich half with the remaining four slices of bread. 

Top the 4 sandwiches with half of the melted butter. Cook, buttered-side-down, on a skillet until golden brown, (about 2 minutes). Spread the remaining melted butter on the tops of the sandwiches before cooking the remaining side. When both sides are golden brown, return the sandwiches to the baking sheet. Top the sandwiches with the remaining 2 oz. of grated Gouda, and large spoonfuls of the cream sauce. Broil until the cheese/sauce begins to brown, about 3 minutes.

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