Recently I filled out an interview questionnaire from a fellow blogger who likes to highlight people, and one question stood out to me: What is your favorite sandwich?
I was stumped. I don’t, anymore, regularly make sandwiches for lunch. In many cases they are not “blog-worthy” and in other cases my wife and/or I are watching our carb intake. The question made me think.
If I were to name my typical choice when standing at the counter of a Subway restaurant, it would be some form of an Italian. I love the spiced meats as they give flavor all on their own. Add some lettuce, tomato, red onion, green pepper and a little oil and vinegar, you’ve got yourself a satisfying meal.
A historical choice would have to be one that I learned as a child from my paternal grandfather. One day when we were visiting, he brought to the lunch table plates with sandwiches already made on them. The bread was toasted and inside was several slices of hot, crispy bacon and a thick layer of crunch peanut butter (you creamy peanut butter lovers are just plain WRONG). Yes, you heard right. PB and Bacon! The savory bacon…the satisfying peanut butter….yum!. Your doctor will limit you to one of these a year, but you have to try it.
One of the best ones I have made of late was the Corned Beef Grilled Cheese.
One contender for sandwich of the century is from a local restaurant here in the Cleveland area named Melt Bar and Grilled. They specialize in “grilled cheese”. I place that term in quotes, because this isn’t your kiddie grilled cheese (although they do have that and derisively call it The Kindergartener). Want a slice of cheesy lasagna between two slices of grilled bread? They have it. How about some yellow fin tuna and perogi? They have that sandwich too. Virtually any combination you could think of, they can make for you.
The restaurant had grown to legend status by the time I first went there. Being they only had one location (now up to five and growing), and it being a small place, you routinely had to wait 60-90 minutes for a table. We decided to venture out and try it. After a very long wait, we were shuffled to a table and given the menus (on the back of old album covers). Not sure what to choose, I chose the West Side Monte Cristo. What came out was mana from heaven. A sandwich of honey ham and smoked turkey with swiss and american cheese. The whole sandwich is crispy battered & deep-fried and served with mixed berry preserves. This is another sandwich that your cardiologist would limit, if only she knew.
This is not a West Side Monte Cristo from the Melt, but pretty good in its own right!
This version uses only ham.
Stacked and ready for some compression. Note: no crusts.
After compressed, I wrapped them tightly in plastic wrap and threw them in the fridge.
Frying them up.
Monte Cristo Sandwich
Prep Time: 8 M | Cook Time: 5 M | Makes: 1 sandwich | Difficulty: Easy
- 3 slices white bread
- Mayonnaise, as needed
- 2 slices Gouda
- 2 slices turkey
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Strawberry slices, for garnish
- Orange wedges, for garnish
- Serving suggestion: Blackberry jam
On a work surface, lay out 2 slices of bread and spread with mayonnaise. Top each slice with the 1 slice of Gouda and 1 slice of turkey each. Put the third slice of bread on top of one stack, and flip the remaining stack on top, cheese-side down, to make a triple-decker sandwich.
Using a knife, cut the crusts off the sandwich (this helps to pinch and seal the ends). Wrap the sandwich tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 6 hours. (Wrapping the sandwich in plastic wrap, compacts it, and prevents the egg batter from seeping in.)
Combine the eggs and milk in a bowl. Heat the oil and butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Unwrap the sandwich and dip it in the egg batter, to coat evenly. Gently place it in the skillet, and fry, turning once, until golden brown and hot, about 5 minutes total.
Cut the Monte Cristo in 1/2, transfer it to a place, and garnish with the strawberry and orange. Spoon some jam over each 1/2 and serve immediately.