The Best Monte Cristo Sandwich
The Monte Cristo Sandwich, Reminiscent of the Monte Cristo at the Blue Bayou at Disneyland
I don't really eat very many of these since, well, they'll pack the weight on you like nobody's business. On the other hand, they are SO GOOD!!!!
I've prepared them in the past for my kids and always called them Grandpa's World Famous Non Toxic Deep-Fried Sandwich.
So, call it a Monte Cristo, Grandpa's Non Toxic, or just Coronary On A Plate, it's worth it.
I've eaten Monte Cristo's in restaurants, bistros, saloons, and taverns all over the country, but the best ones are served at the Blue Bayou in Disneyland. And this recipe will remind you of it (if you've ever eaten it there), or it'll give you a hint of the delight that awaits you (if you haven't).
So, for my daughters Helen and Maureen and their kids (OK, and the rest of you, too), here's the recipe:
1 quart oil for frying, or as needed
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 slices white bread
4 slices Swiss cheese
4 slices turkey
4 slices ham
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar for dusting
Heat 5 inches of oil in a deep-fryer to 365 degrees F (180 degrees C). While oil is heating, make the batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg and water. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper; whisk into the egg mixture until smooth. Set aside in the refrigerator.
Assemble sandwiches by placing one slice of turkey on one slice of bread, a slice of ham on another, then sandwich them with the Swiss cheese in the middle. Cut sandwiches into quarters, and secure with toothpicks.
Dip each sandwich quarter in the batter so that all sides are coated. Deep fry in the hot oil until golden brown on all sides. Remove toothpicks and arrange on a serving tray. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving.
Some cooks prefer to heat the oil to 400 degrees F. In my particular case, I use a cast iron skillet on an electric range cooktop, so I just heat the oil until it's hot. Frankly, it's hard to make much of a mistake here.
Regarding the bread, I prefer thin sliced “sandwich” style white bread—the sort that's baked square rather than rounded on the top. It makes a nicer looking sandwich.
Finally, make sure to serve it with some sort of fruit jam or preserves. My favorite to accompany this sandwich is Black Current Preserves.
There is no part of this sandwich that's low-fat, low-calorie, gluten-free, high-fiber, organic, or in any way friendly to the environment, but Lord is it tasty.