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Saturday, March 05, 2011

Portobello Croque Monsieur

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
Portobello Croque Monsieur is a twist on the traditional French sandwich which is usually made with ham and cheese, and I love it! You could add a nice sliced ham to this recipe, but the Portobello gives this sandwich a rich flavor and makes it a great lunch item all by itself. This recipe makes 6 sandwiches.

Ingredients for sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons of butter
1 1/2 tablespoons of AP flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
pinch nutmeg
dash Tabasco

Ingredients for sandwich
5 large Portobello mushrooms
7 tablespoons room temp. butter divided
2 tablespoons minced shallots
12 thick sliced slices of ciabatta bread (the French use brioche)
12 ounces Gruyere cheese
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves

First we make the sauce. Melt the butter in a heavy sauce pan and add the flour and stir and cook til the roux gets a little golden about 2 minutes then add the milk and whisk. Add the bay leaf and and turn up heat and whisk til sauce comes to the boil simmer til it thickens and remove from heat and add the cheese, nutmeg, hot sauce salt and pepper.

To make the sandwich, chop up the mushrooms small and sauté with the shallots in 3 tablespoons butter and cook about 8 minutes, set aside. Preheat broiler Spread remaining butter on one side of the bread Place bread butter side up on baking sheet and broil until golden, keep an eye on it so it does not burn!

Cool bread and preheat oven to 450. Turn 6 slices over top with sliced Gruyere and mushroom mixture and other slice of bread and push down to compress. Put 2 tablespoons of cheese sauce on top of bread but don’t go all the way to the edge. Sprinkle top with grated Parmesan and bake til cheese on the inside melts and top turns golden about 10 minutes top with fresh chopped tarragon.