Do you watch 30 Rock? You know how Liz Lemon has an unhealthy and undying love of sandwiches? Yeah, well, we have that in common (among other things…). Unlike Liz, though, I actually like to make sandwiches — not just call in orders for meatball subs with extra bread. I’ve gotten really good at making sandwiches, and I’d like to share my two tips for making a really great sandwich:
- Fold the meat. When using sliced deli meats, instead of laying each slice flat on top of the last slice, I like to kind of pinch the slice in the middle and let it layer on top of itself, putting the next slice next to it, instead of on top of it. I don’t know why this makes every single bite of your sandwich taste better, but, I’m telling you — it does!
- Find the right order of ingredients. It’s important to put the ingredients in the right order. There is no one “right order” for every sandwich, though. It depends mostly on what you’re putting in it, but other factors, like if you’re toasting your sandwich or packing it for later, will also come into play. The best way to find the right order for you and your sandwich is to experiment. If you’re hooked on sandwiches, like me and Liz, this won’t be a problem for you.
With these sandwich commandments in mind, I set out to make a Croque-Monsieur for the Big Brunch Party that would make Parisian-Sidewalk-Cafe-Goers and Super-Bowl-Party-Goers alike drool with sandwich anticipation. What’s better at a big party than a Six Foot Party Sub from a deli? A gourmet Six Foot Party Sub from your own kitchen, of course!
Using this recipe from Bon Appetit as a starting point, here is my adaptation of this brunch classic for a big crowd.
The Six Foot Croque-Monsieur Party Sub
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp. Herb d’ Provence (to taste)
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Add nutmeg and bay leaf. Increase heat to medium-high and boil until sauce thickens, whisking constantly, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add Herb d’ Provence. This can be made a day ahead, so long as you let it cool slowly, stirring occassionally.
- 1 ~Three-foot long baguette, cut in half length-wise
- 1 – 1 1/2 lb. thinly sliced, good, baked ham (honey, black-forest, whatever you like…)
- 1/2 lb. sliced Jarlsberg cheese (or Gruyere, or any kind of Swiss)
- Herb d’ Provence
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Toast the sliced baguette on the middle rack until it is a light golden brown. Remove from oven. Spread a thin layer of the Cream Sauce on the baguette. Layer the ham along the baguette (see Key #1 above!), then the cheese. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and return to the oven until the cheese starts to bubble and brown. Using a large sharp knife, cut into 2″ slices. Sprinkle top with Herb d’Provence.
Since I really wanted to emphasize the “Six Foot”-ness of this sandwich, I used a full-length mirror found at the dollar store and wrapped in brown craft paper as my serving platter. That allowed me to lay both 3-foot sections end-to-end, next to the Six Foot Long Chicken Bahn Mi Party Sub (whose recipe I will be posting next…), making for an impressive sandwich spread.
I didn’t think that Liz Lemon got an invite to this Brunch party (not because she’s a fictional character — we just didn’t have her address…), but I can’t be sure that she wasn’t there, because when I came back to the room 15 minutes after putting out the ‘lunch course’, all six feet of this Croque-Monsieur was long gone.