Michel Richard’s ‘Shroomwich
(A vegetarian croque monsieur)

Serves 4-6 as an appetizer

1 ½ cups Mushroom Jus
¾ cup Heavy Cream
2 Shallots, minced
1 large Garlic clove
¾ cup Mushroom puree
Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
8 -1/4” thick slices of Brioche
8 thin slices of Gruyere cheese
2 Tbsp (1 oz) unsalted Butter

Combine mushroom jus, cream and shallots in a medium saucepan.  Using a rasp grater, grate the garlic directly into the pan (or mince and add) Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced by half, to slightly more than 1 cup. Remove pan from heat.

Place the mushroom puree in a small bowl. One Tbsp. at a time, stir 6 Tbsp. of the jus mixture into the puree. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reserve the remaining jus mixture to use as a dipping sauce (set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes, refrigerate for longer)

Lay out 4 pieces of brioche on your work surface. Trim slices of cheese to fit the bread and place 1 slice of cheese on each of the pieces of bread. Using a small offset spatula, spread the mushroom mixture over the cheese. Top the mushrooms with the remaining cheese and bread. (At this point the sandwiches could be individually wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for several hours, or frozen for longer storage.  If frozen, defrost before cooking)

To serve, melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Brush the sandwiches on both sides with the melted butter.

Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the sandwich and brown both sides. If the cheese is not melted transfer the sandwiches to a baking sheet and place in a 250 degree F oven until cheese has melted.

Meanwhile, reheat the reserved jus mixture.  Cut each sandwich on the diagonal into 4 triangular pieces. Pour jus mixture into a small bowl, and serve on the side for dipping.