How to Make a Monte Cristo Sandwich!
Okay … intermission from all that PR, um… wordiness:
I’m breaking into the press release here to give a little shout out for the Disneyland Resort chefs. These guys & gals do a lot of demonstrating at the Food & Wine festival. They may not be famous like Guy Fieri but man, their demos are just as great.
Two years ago I went to the Monte Cristo demo headed up by Sous Chef Agustin Figueroa of Café Orleans. Not only did he teach the crowd how to prepare Disneyland’s famous sandwich, but he was super friendly and answered every question about it the crowd could throw at him. And then … he served up a sample of the tasty treat, which I am going to do now – Well, no, sorry, much as I’d like to, I can’t hand over a Monte Cristo, but … I can give you the recipe.
Here’s the recipe as Chef Figueroa taught it that day:
The batter and the jelly sauce should be prepared ahead. You can make them the day before so you don’t have to spend all day in the kitchen. If you choose to do everything the same day, prepare the blackberry sauce first as it needs to be well chilled before serving (make then chill for 4-5 hours). The batter should be prepared next, let it rest while you get everything else ready). Personally, I’d do all that the day before.
Blackberry Jelly Sauce:
2 pints of blackberries
1 tsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp vanilla
1⁄2 cup brown sugar
1⁄4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp honey
1⁄2 cup cream
Place the blackberries, and lime juice in a hot saucepan and whisk to blend. Lower the heat and cook for 7 to 9 minutes (stirring every once in a while so the berries don’t burn). Whisk in the brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, and vanilla and let simmer 3 to 5 more minutes. Blend with an immersion blender (or give it a whirl in a blender) till smooth and chill thoroughly (4 to 5 hours). Just before serving, whisk in the cream.
Monte Cristo Batter:
1 pound all purpose flour
20 oz water
1 tsp baking powder
3 large eggs
1 oz salt
3 drops of yellow food coloring
In a large bowl, combine the eggs, flour, and water, mix until just combined. Mix in the baking powder, and for color, add the 3 drops of yellow food coloring. Set aside.
Assemble the Sandwich:
For each sandwich you need:
2 thick slices of a bread of your choice (Chef Agustin uses a French bread)
1 oz of sliced ham
1 oz of sliced turkey
2 slices of Swiss cheese
Place one slice of cheese on one slice of bread, then layer in the ham, the turkey, the other cheese slice and top it all off with the second bread slice.
Finishing it all up:
While you are assembling the sandwiches, heat up some oil in a frying pan (Chef Agustin used canola oil and didn’t specify the amount, but I’d say about an inch in the pan should do).
Coat the assembled sandwich in the batter and fry just until golden brown. Remove the sandwich from the frying pan, drain on a paper towel, and get ready to plate it up.
At Café Orleans, the Monte Cristo is served with a little cup of the blackberry sauce so you can dip each bite into it. At the demonstration, Chef Agustin showed another way to serve the sandwich by artfully drizzling the plate with the sauce, laying the sandwich a top, and dusting the whole affair with powdered sugar. The sandwich is served with a selection of fruit to balance out the flavors.