Turkey Club Casserole

Do you have Emeril's new cook book Sizzling Skillets.  Wonderful!  All the recipes are done in our favorite kitchen things, skillet, casseroles, baking dishes, big pots, slow cookers, etc.  You get the idea.  This recipe he shared on the Rachel Ray show a few weeks ago.  Fabulous!  A cross between French Toast and a club sandwich.

This looks long and involved, not.  All the instructions are telling you how to put the sandwich together.  The Bechamel Sauce takes about 10 minutes to make and should be made first.  The sauce can be made up to five days ahead.

Turkey Club Casserole
8-10 servings
print recipe

8 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
5 tablespoons un salted butter
Two 1-pound loaves very thinly sliced sandwich breas, preferably Pepperidge Farm
1 recipe Bechamel Sauce (recipe follows)
1 pound thinly sliced oven-roasted turkey breast
2 medium tomatoes, cored and thinly sliced
1 pound bacon, cooked until crisp and drained
8 ounces thinly sliced honey-glazed ham
8 ounces thinly sliced sharp cheddar cheese

1.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, milk, salt, mustard, cayenne, and nutmeg.  Set the egg-cream mixture aside while you prepare the sandwiches.

2.  Grease the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch glass baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter.

3.  Using a serrated knife, cut the crusts off the bread.  Assemble 16 sandwiches by combining the ingredients for each sandwich in this order, from the bottom up; 1 slice bread spread with 1 teaspoon of the bechamel, topped with 1 ounce of turkey, 1 slice of tomato, and 1 piece of the bacon (broken to fit on the sandwich); another slice of bread spread with 1 teaspoon bechamel, 1/2 ounce of the ham, and 1/2 ounce cheese; and one more pie of pread spread with 1 teaspoon bechamel (bechamel side down).  As sandwiches are assembled, place 8 of them in the prepared casserole dish.  Repeat with the remaining sandwiches, placing them direcly on top of the first layer.

4.  When all the sandwiches are positioned in the casserole, pour the egg-cream mixture evenly over the top.  Place a piece of parchment or wax paper on top of the casserole and place a second casserole dish on top of the paper to weight the casserole.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours.  The bread should absorb most of the egg mixture.

4.  Preheat the over to 350 degrees F and remove the casserole from the refrigerator, slice the remaing 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick of butter into 8 pieces, and place one piece on top of each sandwich stack.  Bake the casserole, uncovered, until puffed and golden, usually about 40 minutes.

6.  Set the casserole aside to cool briefly before serving.  Serve warm.

BECHAMEL SAUCE
1 1/2 CUPS

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

1.  In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the flour and cook, stirring, constantly with a wooden spoon, for about 2 minutes, do not allow to brown.

2.  While whisking constantly, add the milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Cook the mixturee, stirring constantly, until it comes to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook until the sauce has thickened and any flooury taste is gone, about 8 minutes.

3.  Remove the sauce from the heat and transfer to a small heat-resistant bowl. Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface and then set aside to cool.  The bechamel can be stored in a resealable container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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