1/8 pound (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup flour
6 cups (1.5 quarts) milk, heated
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Colby cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Muenster cheese
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon red pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter
3 pounds fresh white mushrooms, sliced
2 1/4 pounds fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 cup green onions, sliced
1 tablespoon dried fine herbs*
24 slices toasted, sliced assorted breads
3/4 cup (2 1/4 ounces) grated Asiago cheese
Asparagus spears, for serving
*The classic recipe for fine herbs is a blend of equal quantities of very finely minced parsley, chervil, tarragon, and chives.
Preheat the oven to at 400°F (for a conventional oven; preheat to 350°F if using a convection oven).
In a large skillet, heat the butter; whisk in the flour to create a roux. Cook on low heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Slowly whisk in the hot milk, stirring well between additions. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the Colby and Muenster cheeses and stir well until melted. Season with the salt, red pepper sauce, and nutmeg; set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the butter; add the mushrooms, green onions and fine herbs. Cook on high heat until the mushrooms are golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir into the cheese sauce.
Place 2 slices of the toasted bread in each of twelve shallow, lightly buttered ramekins or oven-to-table dishes; top each serving with 1/2 cup mushroom sauce, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the Asiago. Bake, in a conventional oven, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until brown and bubbly, or in a convection oven for 7 to 8 minutes.
To serve, top with the asparagus spears and the remaining shredded Asiago cheese.
Note: The classic recipe for fine herbs is: blend equal quantities of very finely minced parsley, chervil, tarragon and chives.