Monte Carlo Sandwiches
The Monte Cristo sandwich is adapted from the French version menu item known as Croque Monsieur. It is made from ordinary ham and cheese. The Croque Monsieur is supposed to be the earliest version of the Monte Cristo sandwich. The ingredients of the French dish are cheese, thinly coked ham and white bread. The sandwich is then fried in butter. The first Monte Cristo sandwich was experimented in the year 1966 and was first seen on a menu at a restaurant in New Orleans, Disneyland. The recipe very quickly spread to the other parts of the continent and later to the entire world.
Heavy ingredients are used in making of these sandwiches so that they sustain the deep frying and still maintaining the flavor. The first and the most important ingredient is the bread. Either white or brown bread can be selected for preparation of the sandwiches. Turkey sliced and gently cooked or hams are the traditional meats that can be used. Then Swiss cheese or American cheese slices can be put over the meat slices. And as a cherry on a cake, mustard sauce or garlic mayonnaise is spread on the top. The sandwich is sealed with the help of another bread slice.
This sandwich needs to be cooked. For that purpose a batter needs to be made. The ingredients of the batter are flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix these ingredients very well. Add a large beaten egg to this mixture and mix well to avoid lumps. Water is added to that the mixture gets a proper and a required consistency.
Place the prepared sandwich in the batter and spread the batter on one side. Repeat the procedure for the second side. Hold the sandwich vertical so that extra batter drips off the sandwich. Immediately place the sandwich in the frying pan or a frying basket and gently place it in the heated oil. The sandwich must be fried for about 4 to 5 minutes until it is golden brown in color. Set the sandwich on a rack to cool. This also serves another purpose of dripping ff the excess oil. Dry the sandwich with a paper towel.
The sandwich is now ready. A bit of garnishing needs to be done. Generous amount of powdered sugar may be dusted. The sandwich is rolled over the sugar gently. Raspberry, strawberry or blueberry jams may be served on the side of the sandwich. This enhances the taste of the sandwich. Sometimes the frying step may be skipped and the battered covered sandwich is just placed on a frying pan and fried until golden brown. This process is known as shallow frying.
The sandwich has a lot of hearty and fatty ingredients and hence is a best and the perfect dish during the winter seasons. They have a lot of meat, butter, mayonnaise which help fight the cold. Hence in many of the northern countries such a North America, Canada, Russia, this sandwich is famous and is a delight to eat.