Monday, September 24, 2012

A Disney Classic at Home

So back in December of 2010, James and I took a trip out to California, including a day in Disneyland, where I introduced him to the amazing, decadent wonder that is the Blue Bayou's Monte Cristo Sandwich.  Yes, it's a turkey, ham and swiss cheese sandwich - which is then dipped in egg batter, deep fried, topped with powdered sugar and served with a side of blackberry compote.  For nearly 2 years, the sandwich (which I may add, James didn't even order - he just ate half of mine) has made numerous conversational appearances.  It would easily rank as one of the best sandwiches either of us has ever eaten.  It's a harmonious marriage of salty, sweet and savory with a delicate crunchy coating and a tender, rich interior.  Basically, it's a damn good sandwich.

Well last week, I came across a Pintrest pin that linked to a website of copycat recipes - obviously worth exploring - and low and behold, the recipe for the Monte Cristo!  Now here is where I want to enter my caveat to this tantalizing treat... it is after all a deep fried sandwich which clocks in around 950 calories.  That's no small caloric undertaking and with training, had to be planned cautiously as to not derail all of our hard work thus far.  We figured climbing a mountain this past Sunday warranted it and planned accordingly.

Now that the warning label has been sufficiently provided, back to my story.  During our pre-hike breakfast Sunday, James glances over at the cookbook shelf and says "I'm surprised that the Monte Cristo isn't in one of your Disney cookbooks."  I then think to myself, "have I ever even looked?"  Well, low and behold, the recipe (yes, matching the one I found online) has been in our kitchen for years now.  James may or may not have threatened to disown me at this point (he takes food quite seriously, which I fully respect and encourage so I can't really say I blame him).

Well since I'm guessing the majority of my readers don't necessarily own "Delicious Disney," I wanted to share our interpretation of the Monte Cristo with you all so you can enjoy a little piece of Disneyland in your own kitchen.

The Blue Bayou Monte Cristo Sandwich (serves 4)

1 egg
1 3/4 cups water
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups vegetable or canola oil
8 slices of thickly sliced challah bread (or other egg based bread)
8 oz thinly sliced turkey breast
8 oz thinly sliced brown sugar glazed ham
4 oz swiss cheese (I recommend Boggey Meadow)
1/2 cup Penzey's Raspberry Enlightenment (or other raspberry or blackberry compote)

- Heat your oil to 375 degrees in a 3"- 4" deep skillet
- Combine egg, water, flour, baking powder and salt and whisk together until well combined and smooth
- Assemble each sandwich by spreading a very thin layer of Raspberry Enlightenment on each slice of bread and stacking each with 2 oz of turkey, 2 oz ham and 1 oz of swiss cheese.
- Slice each sandwich in half
- Dip the halves in the batter, ensuring that each one is well coated, and place them in the heated oil
- Fry until golden brown and flip to cook evenly on both sides
- Remove from oil and place on a piece of paper towel to drain excess oil
- Dust halves with powdered sugar and serve with ramekin filled with 2 tablespoons of Raspberry Enlightenment for dipping

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