April 1 2012By Chef Ken Forkish
from Ken's Artisan Bakery in Portland, Oregon
2 thick slices of country-style artisan bread
Béchamel sauce (recipe below)
High quality, thinly sliced ham
Gruyere cheese, grated
The Béchamel Sauce
5 tablespoons butter, 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 4 cups milk, 2 teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a light, golden sandy color, about 6 to 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the milk in a separate pan until just about to boil. Add the hot milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg, and set aside until ready to use. Spread béchamel sauce on one slice of bread, top with slices of ham. Place second slice of bread on top.
Spread béchamel sauce on top. Sprinkle gruyere cheese generously on top. Bake at 450°F until cheese has browned.