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Wild Mushroom Croque Monsieur, Bechamel Sauce, and Vegetable Potage


Wild Mushroom Croque Monsieur
(For 8 sandwiches)
16 pieces thinly sliced grain, white or sourdough bread
2 lbs mushroom mix cleaned and sliced (we used chanterelles and oyster)
1 cup minced green onion
1/2 cup minced fresh herbs such as mixture of tarragon, basil and chives
2 ounces butter
1/3 cup white or red wine
4 cups shredded gruyere or emmenthaler or swiss cheese
2 cups bechamel sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

In large saute pan, melt 1 tbsp butter over medium high heat.  Add 1 lb mushrooms, 1/2 cup green onion, salt and pepper.  Saute until water is released over medium high heat.  Continue to saute until water is reabsorbed.  Add half the wine and reduce wine to 1 tbsp.  Remove cooked mushrooms from pan.  Place pan back over medium high heat and add 1 more tbsp butter.  Add other 1 lb mushrooms, 1/2 cup green onion, salt and pepper and continue to cook in same manner.  Add other half of wine after the mushrooms reabsorb the water.  Reduce wine to to tbsp and remove mushrooms from heat.  Allow to cool.
Place 8 slices of bread on a cookie sheet.  Melt rest of butter and brush bread slices with melted butter.  Cover bread with about 1/3 cup cheese.  Sprinkle cheese with minced fresh herbs.  Cover with cooled mushrooms.  Top mushrooms with about 1/3 more cup cheese.  Place top half of bread over last layer of cheese.  Brush top half with melted butter.
Cover top bread with 1/4 cup béchamel sauce.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Delicious for lunch, breakfast topped with an egg or dinner served with green salad or soup.

Bechamel Sauce
4 tbsp butter
6 tbsp flour
3 cups milk
salt & pepper to taste
generous grinding of fresh nutmeg
1/4 cup white wine

Heat milk with nutmeg, wine, salt and pepper to reach boiling point.  While waiting and in another small saucepan, melt butter and add flour to make roux.  Whisk flour and butter and continue to cook for few minutes.  Add flour mixture slowly to boiling milk, whisking well.  Cook over low heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring well with spatula to prevent sticking. 
Remove from heat and cool.
May be prepared the day before and kept in refrigerator covered directly with plastic wrap to prevent from forming crust.

Vegetable Potage
1 lb onions, large dice
4 lbs vegetables such as potatoes, butternut or acorn squash, zucchini squash, sweet potatoes, parsnips, celery root, etc
4 ounces butter
2 cups white wine
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream

Peel and chop all vegetables to same size.  In large sauce pot, melt butter and add onions and vegetables.  Season with salt and pepper.  Continue to saute for approximately 15 minutes until lightly caramelized.  Add white wine and bubble and reduce wine by half.  Cover with water or chicken stock.  Bring to boil and simmer for 20-20 minutes until vegetables are soft.  Puree, strain and return to heat.  Add heavy cream and adjust seasonings.
Serves 6.

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