DIY Blue Bayou’s Monte Cristo Sandwich
One of the best parts of living in SoCal is Disneyland — the Happiest Place on Earth is right in our backyard! We want to recreate some of its most popular treats, so you can enjoy a little DIY Disney magic whenever the craving hits (and skip the crowds of tourists!). Earlier this summer we made Dole Whips. Now we’re back with the Blue Bayou Restaurant’s famous Monte Cristo sandwich. It’s meant to be eaten on the patio, and if you want to do it right, hang a few paper lanterns in the orange tree and serve them at twilight, just as the crickets begin to chirp.
If you’ve never had one, a Monte Cristo is a very indulgent mash-up of French toast and a turkey, ham, and Swiss sandwich. The entire sandwich gets dipped in egg batter and fried ‘til it’s golden brown. And then, in a move that seems strange (until you take your first bite), it gets sprinkled with powdered sugar — and served with a big dollop of blackberry preserves.
We used egg bread to make ours because we like the way its light, airy crumb sops up the egg batter. It comes out of the oil crispy on the outside, and soft and custardy on the inside. It looks just like French toast, and its subtle sweetness is the perfect foil for all that heavy meat and melty cheese — dip it in the bright berry jam, and the whole thing comes together. It’s sublime.
At Blue Bayou, they serve their Monte Cristos with fruit skewers, which are delightful. But if you’re keeping it simple, which we heartily endorse, you can plate yours with a scattering of fresh strawberries and cherries for a pop of sweet, juicy color.
1 large Gelson’s egg
1 ¾ cups plus 2 Tbsp water
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking powder
8 slices egg bread (such as brioche or challah), sliced ½” thick
8 thin slices turkey
8 thin slices Swiss cheese
8 thin slices ham
3 cups canola oil
Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish
Blackberry preserves, for serving
Preheat the oven to 200º. Line a cookie sheet with paper towels and set it aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg and water together.
Add the flour, salt, and baking powder, and whisk until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, about 1 to 2 minutes.
On one slice of bread, stack 2 slices of turkey, 2 slices of cheese, and 2 slices of ham.
Place another slice of bread on top and cut the sandwich in half, diagonally.
Add the oil to a 10” pan with tall sides and heat between 365° and 375°. Do not let the oil reach a higher temperature than this, and reduce the heat if the oil starts to smoke.
Dip one half of the sandwich into the egg batter, coat it entirely, allow the excess batter to drain off, and then very carefully place it in the oil. Repeat with the second half.
Cook the sandwich for 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Transfer the sandwich to the prepared cookie sheet and set it in the warm oven.
Repeat steps 4 to 8 with the remaining 3 sandwiches, allowing the oil to reach the desired temperature between each.
Sprinkle each sandwich with confectioners’ sugar and serve with blackberry preserves on the side.
Recipe adapted from: D23