Howdy y’all, and thanks for stopping by the website. Today I’m whipping up one of my beautiful wife Shannon’s favorite foods from the happiest place on Earth. Yes, I’m talking about a Disney theme park. I had never heard of one of these in my life. A whole fried sandwich? Well, you know I was down for this challenge.
The Monte Cristo originated in Paris about a hundred some odd years ago. It’s a delicious, cheesy sandwich that is dipped in batter and fried until the crust is golden and the cheese is melty. You won’t believe your taste buds when you take a bite out of this one. I’m getting the oil hot, so hurry up and let’s go.
Start by mixing the first few dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and add the half and half and the egg (beat the egg lightly before adding). I like to use half and half because the batter will be richer. Y’all should know already that this isn’t diet food, and that the cowboy is always going to go for maximum flavor.
Normally, this recipe includes milk instead of cream. You can go ahead and use that if you want, but you’ll need to add more flour to get the batter the right consistency. We’re looking for the consistency of a pancake batter. If the batter is too thick, use the milk or half and half to thin it out until it’s just right.
Set the batter aside for a few minutes while you make the sandwich.
Prep the Sandwich
Y’all might think that putting a sandwich together is no big deal and you can skip this part, but this time, it isn’t as easy as it seems. Because we’re going to batter and fry this whole sandwich when done, we need to be a little particular with how we construct the thing.
Tip: If you leave the bread out for a couple hours, the batter will stick to it a little better.
First off, in order to ensure that the cheese will melt, we need to toast the bread just a bit. I did this by preheating my cast iron skillet on the outdoor stove and melting a decent amount of butter. Set each piece of bread in the butter and toast until it’s golden brown. This will not only add incredible flavor, it will help to melt the cheese. The frying time is so short on this that sometimes the cheese gets cold.
Once the bread is toasted, place each slice on your cooking surface. On one piece of the bread, lay a slice of swiss. On the other piece, add the pepper jack cheese. Go ahead and grab your Duke’s mayonnaise and spread on one side, and honey mustard on the other. Next, layer four slices of deli meat – turkey on one slice of bread and ham on the other. Add one more slice of cheese on each piece and we are ready to go.
Carefully combine both sides of the bread together to make a normal sandwich. Make sure match the sides. The two bread tops should be at one end of the sandwich and the bottoms at the other. See the below picture if you aren’t sure what I mean. Mash the sandwich just a little.
Tip: Cut the crusts off of the sandwich to avoid lumpy batter.
You should start preheating your grease about now. 350 is about right. Dip the sandwich all over with batter. Make sure you cover all of the sides.
Using a good sturdy pair of tongs, lay the sandwich gently into the hot oil. Fry just a couple of minutes, and then very gently flip the sandwich. Fry until golden brown. This batter is just a little sweet so sprinkle some powdered sugar on top. It’s a wonderful compliment with the savory, salty deli meat.
Sweet Heat Dipping Sauce
Mix the raspberry preserves with some adobo sauce. For best results, place in the ice box for about 30 minutes. Dip that sandwich inside and enjoy!
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Monte Cristo Sandwich – Cowboy Kent Rollins
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 large egg beaten
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 slices bread
- 4 slices swiss cheese divided
- 4 slices pepper jack cheese divided
- 8 deli slices ham
- 8 deli slices turkey
- Mayonnaise for spreading
- Honey mustard for spreading
- Fry oil
- ⅓ cup raspberry preserves
- 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
- Powdered sugar for dusting
In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Whisk in the half and half and egg until it reaches a pancake batter consistency. Add more flour or half and half as needed.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the raspberry preserves and adobo sauce and mix until smooth. Cover and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
In a large cast iron skillet over medium low heat melt the butter. Add the bread and lightly toast. Place 1 slice of Swiss cheese on one piece of toast, then place one slice of the pepper jack on the other piece. Remove from the skillet.
Assemble the sandwiches with the mayonnaise, mustard, turkey, ham and the remaining cheese slices. Mash slightly.
In a deep cast iron skillet add about 1 3/4 inches of oil and preheat to 350 degrees F.
With a serrated knife, cut the crust off of the bread and discard. With a pair of tongs, dunk the entire sandwich into the batter, making sure to generously coat on all sides. Allow the batter to drain slightly off the bread.
Place the sandwich in the hot oil and let it fry about 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully flip and fry the other side for about 2 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the skillet and place on a wire rack to cool slightly.
- Dust with powdered sugar and serve with the jam mixture for dipping.