Corny Sammies: Crab-and-Corn Melts

June 2011
Corny Sammies: Crab-and-Corn Melts

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Weekend brunch idea: Set up a bloody mary bar and serve these with cooked-to-order eggs on top or a salad alongside.

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO or vegetable oil
  • 3 slices good-quality bacon, chopped
  • 2 large ears corn, kernels scraped from the cob, or 1 cup thawed frozen corn kernels
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 1 small yellow or red onion finely chopped
  • 1 small fresno chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 - 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 10 - 12 ounces lump crabmeat, picked for shells
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • A small handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth or a shot of dry sherry
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Salt and black or white pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 4 slices (1-inch-thick) brioche or challah bread
  • About 2 cups shredded gruyere cheese
Directions
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees . In a large skillet, heat the EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, over medium to medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until lightly crisped, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the corn, celery, onion, chile pepper, garlic and thyme and cook for 5 minutes. Add the crabmeat and Old Bay and heat through. Douse with the lemon juice, remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.
  2. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour for 1 minute, then whisk in the vermouth (or sherry). Whisk in the milk. Season with salt, a hint of pepper and the nutmeg. Turn off the heat.
  3. Arrange the bread on a baking sheet and top with the crab mixture, bechamel sauce and cheese. Bake until the cheese is lightly golden, about 10 minutes.
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