Recipe by Kathi Ann
French fare with a Southern accent! I came up with this after seeing a version of the sandwich made by Rachel Ray. A traditional southern breakfast (bacon, eggs, grits) is one of my favorite meals - anytime of day. I figured, why not assemble it in a whole new way? Made with sliced/fried polenta (instead of bread), and apple-wood smoked bacon (in lieu of ham). Creamy, cheesy, w/bacon & white gravy - I mean, a bechamel sauce - to boot! (Note: if you want larger "sandwiches", slice the polenta lengthwise instead of into rounds.)
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt (or season to taste)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper (or season to taste)
- 1⁄8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg (eyeball it)
- 2 teaspoons smooth dijon-style mustard
- 12 ounces gruyere cheese, grated (5 cups)
- 1⁄2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 (18 ounce) packageof san gennaro pre-cooked prepared polenta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounces apple-wood smoked bacon, pan-fried or broiled (do not microwave)
- 5 small eggs or 1 medium egg, fried sunny-side up
- 2 tablespoons parsley (for garnish) or 2 tablespoons chives (for garnish) or 2 tablespoons thyme, chopped (for garnish)
Directions See How It's Made
- Preheat oven to 400*F.
- For the bechamel sauce: Melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium low heat in a small saucepan and whisk in the flour, cooking for 1-2 minutes.
- Whisk the milk into the butter/flour mixture and bring to a bubble, then turn heat to low.
- Season the mixture by adding the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and Dijon mustard.
- Remove from heat when sauce coats the back of a spoon.
- Add ½ cup grated Gruyere and the Parmesan, stirring until incorporated, and set aside.
- To prepare the polenta: Cut into ½ inch slices and pan fry on both sides in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat until crispy & golden brown.
- Place pan-fried polenta slices onto a lightly oiled baking sheet.
- To assemble the "sandwiches": Top half of the polenta slices with a dollup of bechamel sauce, 2 slices of bacon each (folded or torn to fit), and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyere.
- Top each with another piece of pan-fried polenta.
- Sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere and bake the "sandwiches" for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven.
- Using a spatula, top each open-faced sandwich with a fried egg, sunny-side up.
- Slather the tops with the cheese sauce and garnish with chopped herbs if desired.
- Serve hot.