Normally, this dish would be served in a classic French restaurant as a luncheon entree, but it is equally as good for a dinner if you’ve also indulged earlier in the day.
By making everything from scratch (especially the Bechamel) and not scrimping on the oil and butter you are guaranteed mouth-watering explosion of both savoury and sweet.
Hart proferred this lunch to the French delegates in “New York Fried, Copyright 2019, Sunao Publishing”.
INGREDIENTS (to serve 6)
1 and 1/2 cups milk, preferably whole milk
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
generous pinches of kosher salt
scant 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
generous grinding of freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup butter, divided
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 lb mixed mushrooms such as maitake, enoki, oyster, king, and cremini, torn or sliced
6 croissants, sliced in halt
2 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
1 and 1/2 cups coarsely grated Gruyere
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp honey, preferably wildflower or lavender
generous pinch of salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
12 cups escarole or other bitter salad greens like frisee
6 fresh thyme sprigs
- Prepare bechamel. Heat milk in a small saucepan set over medium heat until warm. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, melt butter until bubbling. When bubbling, stir in flour. Slowly whisk in milk. Continue whisking until smooth and thickened, 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, and pepper. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, to prepare mushrooms, add 2 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp oil to a large frying pan. Set over medium-high heat. When bubbling, add half of the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat. Cook, stirring often until lightly golden and softened about 7 minutes. Remove to a plate. Repeat with remaining butter, oil, and mushrooms.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Assemble sandwiches on a large parchment-lined baking pan. Spread Dijon mustard on tops of croissants. Cover bottoms with a layer of bechamel. Place a layer of mushrooms on top of the bechamel and then layer again with bechamel. Place tops on and cover with a thin layer of bechamel and then sprinkle the gruyere over top.
- Bake in centre of preheated oven until hot and cheese is melted (7-10 minutes)
- Meanwhile, prepare the salad. Whisk vinegar with shallot, mustard, honey and salt in a large bowl. Pouring in a very thin steady stream, slowly whisk in oil. Add greens. Toss to coat.
- Pull leaves from thyme sprigs and sprinkle warm sandwiches with thyme leaves. Serve with gherkins and the prepared salad.