Monte Cristo Sandwich
A big thank you to Debbie Galle Frost of Life is Good Farm , who suggested this wonderful sandwich idea for our Wednesday Service Lunch! It was wildly popular with the lunch crowd today and several people had to wait until I could make more!
Monte Cristo Sandwich is a variation of Croque Monsieur, a French grilled cheese made with Gruyere and lean ham dated back in 1910. In the 30's, many American cookbooks featured this sandwich under names like French Toasted Cheese Sandwich or just French Sandwich. But in the 60's, Disneyland in Anaheim, California popularized eating of this sandwich.
There are so many variations of this sandwich, but most contain ham, turkey, and cheese. Then the sandwich is dipped in egg batter and deep fried or grilled. In this variation, ham and cheddar are on first layer and turkey and Swiss cheese on the second. Wheat bread slices held up better than white bread after frying.
For crispiest coating, use icy cold water and add corn starch in the batter.
Rather than dipping the sandwiches in the batter, smear the thick batter with gloved hands onto the sandwiches for better control of how much batter is put on.
I was told that powder sugar is a must, and so is the jelly. Strange as these sweet suggestions may sound, they really did enhance the flavor of this sandwich.
Monte Cristo Sandwich
Makes 6 very large sandwiches
18 slices whole wheat bread
6 slices cooked turkey
6 slices cooked ham
6 slices American cheese
6 slices Swiss cheese
1 1/2 cup ice water
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 cup of corn starch
1 tablespoon baking powder
Vegetable oil (for deep frying)
Place turkey and Swiss cheese on one slice of bread and ham and American cheese on another slice of bread. Place third slice in-between and secure the double-decker sandwich in the corners with tooth picks.
Place egg in mixing bowl, add water and beat together. Add salt, sugar, flour, and baking powder. Beat batter until smooth.
Using gloved hands, smear batter onto sandwiches and carefully cover all the sides and surface.
Carefully place in hot oil, 375 degrees F and fry until golden. When sandwich has turned a warm gold color remove from hot oil and place on a wire rack. Let cool for a few minutes before removing the tooth picks.
Before serving slice into halves or fourths and sprinkle with powder sugar. Serve with Strawberry or Raspberry jam.