Growing up, I used to go to this restaurant off of Columbus Avenue in Springfield Mass that had the best Monte Cristo sandwiches. I would meet up with my parents there during my early college years and I never would need a menu because I knew that there was a 99.9% chance I’d be ordering the Monte Cristo. However, I never found another Monte Cristo sandwich that lived up to that one from my youth – until now.
When I got Emeril’s cookbook, Kicked Up Sandwiches, one of the first sandwiches I flagged was his version of a Monte Cristo. As I was approaching the end of the #SeriousSandwich blogalong, I knew I had to make a valiant attempt. It took some preparation, lots of patience from my WholePaychex deli guys, breaking out my new favorite mustard (Emeril’s of course), and making my very first beer batter ever.
When it comes to beer batter recipes, I will be using this recipe from hereon out. It’s light, crispy and full of flavor. As I had ciabatta bread still on the counter, I used that instead of the white sandwich bread. I wish I had used sourdough but I decided to punt. One key step is that you have to wrap the sandwiches tightly in a bit of plastic wrap and let them chill for at least 30 minutes to help them set. I pressed mine a bit to make them more compact and it helped. Instead of preserves, I cracked open a jar of Apple Orange Cranberry Relish from Williams Sonoma and it hit me – this recipe would be PERFECT for holiday leftovers.
I am so thrilled I ended this #SeriousSandwich blogalong with one of my childhood favorites. It was the perfect mix of savory and sweet.
Here’s the play by play:
Gather the Ingredients
Layers of ham, turkey, swiss and cheddar cheeses
Adding my favorite extra special ale to make a frothy beer batter
My first beer batter – glorious!
Now isn’t that a gorgeous shade of fried
Served with a bit of cranberry relish and you have yourself a #SeriousSandwich
Many thanks to Emeril, Morrow Cookbooks and the fabulous bloggers who were with me on this sandwich journey. Through it all I have faced some irrational culinary fears, learned basic culinary skills, the importance of improvisation and to cook outside of the “culinary box”. This cookbook is a prime example of why Emeril is one of the best and, if you are a sandwich aficionado like moi, you need this cookbook in your kitchen.
*Disclosure: A copy of Emeril’s cookbook was provided as part of the #SeriousSandwich Blogger Cookalong along with a jar of Emeril’s Horseradish Mustard. My opinion and experiences are 100% my own.