Farmstead Tea Sandwiches
Chef Michael Slavin
Sized perfectly for an elegant picnic, these sandwiches showcase three types of farmstead cheese and country ham on thin slices of artisanal raisin bread. Pack the cheese sauce separately in a thermal container to spoon on top when it’s time to eat.
8 tbsp. butter
½ cup minced shallots
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup grated dry Jack or Parmesan-style cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pinch grated nutmeg, pinch
12 slices artisan raisin bread
¾ cup demi-glace
6 oz. thinly sliced country ham
6 wedges smoked white cheddar cheese, ½ oz. each
6 slices Stilton-style blue cheese, ½ oz. each
Garnishes: Chervil sprigs, tiny tomato slices, extra virgin olive oil and flaky sea salt, as needed
1. For cheese sauce, melt butter in saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Add shallots and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until translucent.
2. Whisk in flour; cook stirring constantly, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk and add bay leaves. Bring mixture to a boil and simmer, whisking frequently, about 10 minutes.
3. Whisk in dry Jack cheese and discard bay leaves. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Allow to cool; refrigerate overnight in airtight container. Rewarm gently before serving, adding a little water or milk to thin, if necessary.
4. To assemble sandwiches, toast two slices of bread; spread each with butter. Drizzle 1 tablespoon demi-glace over each piece of toast; top each with 1 ounce ham. Top one toast with ½ ounce wedge of smoked white cheddar cheese and the other with ½ ounce crumbled blue cheese. Spoon 1 tablespoon cheese cauce over each toast and garnish as desired with chervil sprigs, tomato slices, olive oil and flaky sea salt.
Photo courtesy of California Milk Advisory Board