Finding the best recipe for Monte Cristo sandwich

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Last week I wrote about a recipe request for a Monte Cristo sandwich, and this week I have found myself seemingly surrounded by discussions about the sandwich. Last Friday evening we were in a store and a couple was talking about it, then I got a magazine and there were several recipes for this sandwich. It has just seemed a little odd. I also received a recipe by e-mail from a reader for what she considers to be the best Monte Cristo sandwich.

Monte Cristo Sandwich

Currant jelly sauce:

2/3 cup currant jelly

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon half and half

Combine jelly, water and half-and-half in blender. Whirl until smooth. Makes about 3/4 cup.

Fruit Compote: Combine your favorite fresh and canned fruits and chill well. Plan 1/2 cup per person.

Batter:

2/3 cup water

1 small egg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

1/8 teaspoon yellow food coloring

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder

Place water, egg, salt, pepper and food coloring in a bowl and using an electric mixer, mix well at low speed. Add flour and baking powder and mix until batter is smooth. Chill. Makes enough for four sandwiches.

Sandwiches

8 slices white bread

4 slices (1 ounce) turkey roll

4 slices (1 ounce) Swiss cheese

4 slices (1 ounce) ham

Make four sandwiches, putting cheese between ham and turkey. Cut into fourths and put a toothpick through each quarter.

Final preparation:

Vegetable oil for frying

Confectioner's sugar

Compote and jelly

Heat about 6 inches (yes, 6 inches) of oil to 340 degrees, preferably in a deep fryer. Dip sandwiches in batter to cover all surfaces. Deep fry sandwiches until golden brown, turning as needed. Remove from oil, take out toothpicks, and sprinkle with sugar. Serve with compote and jelly.


Marjorie Fowler, who comes to the Senior Center, asked me if I could find her a recipe for oatmeal cake. I immediately went to Bessie Johnson, who I knew would have one, and she did.

Oatmeal Cake

1 1/4 cups boiling water

1 cup quick oats

Pour the boiling water over the oats and let stand 20 minutes. In the meantime cream together:

1/2 cup margarine or lard

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

To this mixture, add the oat mixture. Then add:

1 1/3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Pecans, chopped

When well combined, pour into a prepared 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

For the cake topping:

1 tablespoon flour

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup coconut

1/2 cup sugar

1 small can crushed pineapple

Drain pineapple and put fruit on cake. Cook juice and coconut and the other ingredients until clear. Pour over pineapple on cake.


From time to time I receive recipes that do not have a name on them, as the contributor does not wish for their name to appear in the paper. And that is exactly what I found this week in my mail. Two interesting recipes with no one to give credit to.

Stir-Fried Beef

1 1/2 pounds sirloin steak

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon vinegar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 large onions, sliced

1 large tomato, sliced

3 cups boiled potatoes, diced

Trim the fat from the steak and cut into small, thin pieces. In a large skillet, heat oil and sauté garlic until garlic is golden. Add steak, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Cook for 6 minutes, stirring beef until brown. Add onion and tomato. Cook until onion is transparent. Serve with boiled potatoes and white rice.

Fresh Cabbage and Tomato Salad

1 small head cabbage, sliced thinly

2 medium tomatoes, cut in cubes

1 cup sliced radishes

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 tablespoons rice vinegar or lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon red pepper

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

In a large bowl, mix together the cabbage, tomatoes, and radishes. In another bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients and pour over the vegetables. Toss to combine and serve immediately.


With Lent rapidly approaching, some of you might enjoy this recipe shared by a reader from Altenburg, Mo. The recipe makes 10 to 12 3-inch patties. The tuna mixture may be made up and stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days to use as you wish. You may also substitute for cream of mushroom soup with little flavor difference.

Tasty Tuna Patties

1 (6-ounce) box chicken-flavored stuffing mix with flavoring packet

1/2 cup hot water

1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of chicken soup

2 eggs, beaten

1 (9-ounce) can tuna, drained and flaked

2 tablespoons margarine, melted

1/4 cup milk

2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except oil and mix well. In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Carefully scoop heaping tablespoons of mixture into skillet. Press down with back of a spoon to form patties. Cook them for about 4 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels and serve piping hot.

Stay warm and tolerate the winter weather; it won't be here forever. Have a great week and, until next time, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at smcclanahan@semissourian.com or by mail at P.O. Box 699, Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63701. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by the Southeast Missourian staff.

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