Corny Sammies: Crab-and-Corn Melts

Crab meat, bacon and fresh corn make this open-face sandwich topped with a Gruyère cheese sauce perfect for special brunches or lunches.


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (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 chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 10-12 ounces lump crab meat, picked for shells
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • A small handful of 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
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • 4 1-inch-thick slices brioche or challah bread
  • About 2 cups Gruyère cheese, shredded


Position a rack in the center of the oven and pre-heat to 375°F.

In a large skillet, heat the EVOO, one turn of the pan, over medium to medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until lightly crisped, 3-4 minutes. Stir in the corn, celery, onion, chili pepper, garlic and thyme and cook for 5 minutes. Add the crab meat and Old Bay and heat through. Douse with the lemon juice, remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.

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.

Arrange the bread on a baking sheet and top with the crab mixture, béchamel sauce and cheese. Bake until the cheese is lightly golden, about 10 minutes.

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