Monday, July 18, 2011

Monte Cristo Sandwich

I first had this sandwich about 20 years ago while I was a manager for Bennigan's, a restaurant in Austin, TX.  I thought I would never eat anything else again.  I love every bit of this sandwich.  The ham, turkey, and cheese.  The powdered sugar and jam.  WOW...then deep fry the sandwich!  I know, it's deep-fried.  I have tried all types of Monte Cristo's through the years and I can tell you that the baked sandwiches don't taste like the deep-fried.

The last time I had this sandwich before I made them last week, was probably 5 years ago.  Obviously not being able to eat bread is a huge issue with this takes 3 pieces.  I have to say that I wanted this sandwich and was willing to experiment with my GF bread.  It worked!  I made my family sandwiches using traditional wheat loaf bread and mine with my flatbread.  There were happy faces all around.

The success of making this sandwich is to get it done early.  I try to make my sandwiches the night before or first thing in the morning.  You have to create a seal between the bread, meat, and cheese.  You will see in the pictures below what I mean.

I served it with Blackberry Jam for 2 reasons.  One, that is what I had (you know me, use what I have) and second, my kids do not like the seeds in raspberry jam.  I have to say it tasted just as good.  ENJOY!

Monte Cristo Sandwiches

For each sandwich you will need:

3 pieces of bread
3 slices of ham
3 slices of turkey
1 or 2 slices of Cheddar cheese
1 or 2 slices of Swiss cheese
Saran Wrap

A dusting of Powdered Sugar
Raspberry or Blackberry Jam

To Deep Fry:

Pancake mix ( I used a GF version)
about 2 inches of oil in the bottom of a large pot

When I make this sandwich, I decide how many I need and make them all together.  I lay my bread out, layer the cheese and meat and then stack.  Your layers will be: bread, swiss, turkey, swiss, bread, cheddar, ham, cheddar, bread...with me so far?  See pictures, it helps.

Before and after

Take a piece of Saran Wrap and place a sandwich in the middle.  You want to squish the sandwich and then wrap it tight.  The sandwich should be half of what you started with.

Place sealed and wrapped sandwiches in the fridge until you are ready to fry them up.

Make Pancake batter according to the box.  It should be thinner than the cake mix batter.  Add some milk/water to make it thinner. The mixes are all different.  Thick will work, but it adds a lot of bread to the sandwich.

Heat oil in pot.

Remove sandwiches from the refrigerator and unwrap.  Cut them in half, from corner to corner.  You should have a triangle.

Dip each triangle into the batter and VERY CAREFULLY add the triangle to the hot oil.  It will bubble up over the sandwich.  Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.  They should be golden brown.

With long tongs, remove sandwiches and set on bakers rack to cool.  Sprinkle each sandwich with powdered sugar and serve with jam.  If the cheese did not melt in the middle of the sandwich you can microwave for 30 seconds.

Most adults can eat a whole sandwich, but if served with something else you can plan on 1/2 per adult.  They are filling

Written by Sherron Watson

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