This is the toasted sandwich's slightly saucy cousin, pinky high in the air. It's your standard ham and cheese, but elevated to new heights by switching out the usual Swiss cheese for a creamy, nutty, and utterly delicious Gruyere cheese. The sandwich is then topped with a creamy Mornay sauce and broiled, just until bubbly. If you've never tried a Mornay sauce, it is incredibly similar to a bechamel sauce, except with the addition of Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses.
All put together and topped with some fresh chives, this sandwich is a thing of beauty.
Another beautiful thing?
Leftover Mornay sauce.
Which just happens to be the perfect sauce for Kentucky Hot Browns.
Oh yes. Just in time for the Kentucky Derby this Saturday. I'll be sharing that recipe with you tomorrow. In the meantime, here's how you make the sauce and assemble the sandwich:
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 4 Tbsp. finely chopped yellow onion
- Pinch of Kosher salt
- 4 black peppercorns, cracked
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 2 c. whole milk (I used 1% with no problem)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 c. (approx. 2 ounces) finely grated Gruyere cheese
- 1/4 c. (1 ounce) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
4. Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain the sauce. Wash and dry the pan, and pour the sauce back into it. Over low heat, add the two cheeses, a little at a time, stirring until they are completely melted. Or, 5. Add the cheese into the bowl, then transfer sauce into clean pan. 6. Sauce should coat the back of a spoon.
*I found leftover sauce will keep fine for 2-3 days if refrigerated. Reheat gently over low heat.
- 8 slices white or whole-wheat sourdough bread
- 8 ounces Gruyere cheese, sliced into 24-32, 1/16"-thick slices
- 12 ounces smoked ham, such as Black Forest, sliced into 12-16, 1/16" thick slices
- 1 bunch fresh chives, minced
Grill the sandwich, either in a pre-heated panini maker, or a heavy-bottomed pan or cast iron skillet, until golden on both sides.
Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet and spoon the Mornay over them, leaving a 1-inch border of bread. Heat under the broiler for a minute or two, until the sauce is bubbling. Sprinkle the chives over the sandwich and serve.
Source: Nancy Silverton's Sandwich Book