Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Monte Cristos

My husband rarely requests meals.  He usually just says, "I'll eat whatever you make," so I was surprised when he asked for Monte Cristos last week.

We got a fryer for our wedding that has been sitting in a box for six months and this recipe finally allowed us to get it out and hook it up.  This meal was a team meal with him running the fryer and me doing all the prep work.  It made for a fun evening in the kitchen.

Monte Cristos
slightly adapted from Food Network
8 slices center cut or smoked turkey bacon
4 large eggs, beaten
Warm 1/4 cup fat free half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
8 thick cut sliced 12 grain bread
1/2 cup spicy brown mustard
1/2 cup whole berry cranberry sauce (optional)
1/2 pound sliced havarti 
1 pound sliced ham
1 pound sliced turkey breast
oil for fryer
toothpicks to hold sandwiches together

1) Preheat deep fryer.
2) Cook bacon and remove to paper towels to drain, 5 minutes. Drain off fat. .
3) Beat eggs with half-and-half, nutmeg and pepper.
4) Assemble sandwiches with mustard, cheese, bacon, and lunch meats. Insert several toothpicks to hold the sandwich together.
5) Dip sandwich in egg mixture.
6) Place in fryer until sandwiches turn a nice brown color. 
7) Top with cranberry sauce. (optional)

We were a little wary of how these sandwiches would turn out since we had never fried anything before but they turned out great.  I put the cranberry sauce only on one slice to try and see how everything worked together.  I loved the spicy brown mustard with the creamy havarti cheese.  The frying created the great textural element to the dish and just tied everything together.  It was a perfect combination of sweet, creamy, and tart.  I also loved how the cranberry sauce and cheese tasted together.  The contrast between the creamy and the tartness of the cranberries was fantastic. This sandwich seems like it has a lot going on, but it all works well together.

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