A hot brown is a hot sandwich with turkey, bacon and the cheesy Mornay sauce and it is every bit as delicious as it sounds. I have used chicken because I had that available in the Budget Challenge week, but feel free to go traditional with turkey instead. My cheese sauce is a bit different as well. I use Gouda cheese instead of the common Swiss cheese, but they are similar in taste and texture. I omit the Parmesan. You can of course make a traditional Mornay but I find that this simpler version is almost as good.
The quantities for the sauce are twice what you need for one sandwich, assuming you smother it with lots of sauce like you should. You can freeze the leftovers, to be used in gratins and vegetable or pasta sauces.
- 1 tbs butter
- 1 tbs flour
- 120ml milk
- pinch of nutmeg (optional)
- 70gr cheese
- 2 slices of bacon
- 3 thin chicken strips (80-90gr in total)
- 1 breadroll
Serves 1 as part of the Budget Challenge
Melt the butter in a thick bottomed saucepan. When melted, add the flour and stir with a silicon spatula. I know, this must sound strange, but it works really well as the butter and flour will form a doughy consistency, and until the sauce has been thinned down enough, a whisk would create lumps much more easily.
Cook the dough for a minute or so, then add a little bit of milk. Combine the milk and dough with use of the spatula, until homogenous. The paste will form back into a dough quickly, but keep adding small amounts of milk and stirring with the spatula. Eventually the dough will turn into a very thick sauce. Now you can add the remaining milk and a pinch of nutmeg if using.
Leave the sauce to simmer for 10-15 minutes while stirring occasionally, in order to cook the flour inside the sauce well. Then stir in the cheese.
Bake the bacon in a dry, hot frying pan. When the bacon has let go of some fat, add the chicken. Bake the bacon until brown and starting to crisp up. Bake the chicken until cooked through and browned on both sides. They don’t take long, based on how thin you cut them, so don’t overcook them.
Slice the bread horizontally in half. Place the chicken on the bottom half, then the bacon and pour over some cheese sauce. Grate some pepper over it. Place the top of the bun on top.