Owner and Chef Eugenia Theodosopoulos from Essence Bakery Cafe shares a recipe for easy cheese and mushroom melts.

INGREDIENTS

• 1 pound of sliced mushrooms

• 2 tablespoons of minced green onions

• 1/4 cup of melted butter

• 2 tablespoons of white wine or lemon juice

• 6 strips bacon, cooked and chopped

• 4 ounces sliced gruyere, swiss or cheddar cheese (16 slices)

• 8 sliced thinly bread – wheat, white, sourdough – ends removed

for bechamel sauce best to prepare ahead of time and chill

• 2 cups whole milk

• pinch of fresh ground nutmeg

• 2 tablespoons of white wine

• Salt and pepper to taste

• 2 tablespoons of melted butter whisked with 2 tablespoons of all -purpose flour

INSTRUCTIONS

for sauce

Combine milk with nutmeg, wine, salt and pepper. Bring to boil.

Whisk in butter and flour mixture.

Continue to whisk and bring milk mixture back to boil.

Lower heat to simmer and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, making sure to stir often.

Remove from heat, strain through fine sieve and allow to cool.

Place plastic directly over sauce to prevent crust from forming.

May be prepared 2 days before and stored in fridge.

for melts

Heat medium sized sauté pan add 1 tablespoon butter.

Saute green onions and mushrooms over medium high heat until almost cooked through.

Season with salt and pepper, deglaze with white wine until wine almost evaporates.

Set mushrooms aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Lay 4 pieces of bread on cookie sheet.

Brush with melted butter.

Layer each slice bread with 1 slice of cheese.

Top cheese with sauteed mushrooms and bacon.

Layer top of mushrooms with another slice of cheese.

Top each sandwich with another slice of bread.

Gently press on each sandwich to secure ingredients inside the sandwich.

Brush top slice of bread with melted butter.

Lastly, spread each sandwich top with ¼ inch layer of cooled bechamel sauce.

Bake in oven for about 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Can be served whole, topped with a fried egg and a green salad or cut in cocktail size sandwiches.

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