March 27, 2012

The Monte Cristo with Strawberry Habarnero Jam

Sunday was a quiet day for Grumpy and me and happened to be the day I decided to make these Monte Cristo Sandwiches with Straberry Habarnero Jam!
The Monte Christo with Strawberry-Habernaro Jam - a combnination of heat, sweet and savory that just explodes with flavor in your mouth
Saturday we left the house to do some furniture and truck "window shopping".  We have been doing a lot of furniture window shopping, talking about what we want to get when we finally can buy our own home again.  We are hoping that now its not that far off in the distant future anymore!

I hung out in the house with Grumpy doing housework and working on my blog some throughout the morning.  Then early afternoon I went to our bedroom and watched The Sandwich King on Food Network.  (yes, I have to leave the living room to watch certain channels and the Food Network IS one of them.  Sigh.)  I record this show every week.  When Jeff was competing on The Next Food Network Star, I never really thought I would like his show.  Then, one day I happened to turn on the TV and his show was on.
I watched him make his sandwiches and thought that they looked way too good and that his show was actually something I was interested in continuing to watch.  This last weekend one of the sandwiches he made was the Monte Cristo.  Oh yeah.  Accompanying the sandwich was a Strawberry Habanero Jam.  Oh bigger yeah!  Tempt me with sweet heat and I'm ALL yours!
After I watched the show I finished getting around then headed out the door to the grocery store.  I planned to feed this to Grumpy so I didn't dare use Guyere cheese and I didn't dare use a whole pepper.  I already knew I was going to get a response that I didn't want when he asked me what I was going to make.  As far as I knew, he had no idea what a Monte Cristo was (and he didn't) and when he asked me to explain what it was and I tell him its a ham and cheese sandwich toasted between french toast with a spicy jam dip, well, I knew he wasn't going to be really happy that was what his dinner was going to be.  Fortunately, he didn't gripe too much and he tried it - and he did eat it all.  When I asked him how it was, his response was that it was good.  Of course, Grumpy isn't very adventurous as we all know so the fact he tried it and didn't say it was terrible was a good thing.  I am here to tell you however that it was very good, delicious in fact, but I would have probably have loved it even more with the Guyere cheese and a spicier jam.  The jam is really awesome and I already have other ideas about how I'm going to use what I have left over.  I just wish Grumpy could handle spicier foods!


The Monte Cristo with Strawberry Habernaro Jam
adapted from The Sandwich King
Makes 2 sandwiches

4 slices French Toast Bread (thick cut)
Deli Ham (I used Boars Head Honey Ham - it was on sale!)
Thinly sliced muenster cheese
1 large egg
4 tbsp half and half
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

*Note:  Use your judgement on how much ham/cheese you want to use for your sandwich - but be generous!  :)

Strawberry Habanero Jam

1-16 oz package fresh strawberries, stemmed, washed and cut into chunks
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 small habanero pepper, finely diced
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tsp lemon (or orange) zest

Place strawberries, sugar, pepper, orange juice and lemon zest in heavy sauce pan.  Bring to a simmer and cook until temperature reaches 200 degrees on a candy thermometer.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Whisk together egg, half and half, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla.  Dip french toast bread in egg mixture on each side and place on hot griddle.  When bottom side is browned, flip over and place cheese, meat and then another layer of cheese on top.  Place toasted side of other slice of french toast bread on top of meat cheese mixture.  Cook low and slow to allow the heat to get through the sandwich and melt the cheese.  When the cheese on the bottom looks melty and bottom of sandwich is browned, carefully flip over to toast top of sandwich and cook until toasty.  Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar and jam if desired.

18 comments:

Barbara Bakes said...

That jam sounds amazing. I'd love this for dinner.

Pam said...

Monte Cristo sandwich is my all time favorite sandwich. I use to get it at Buffums Department Store's restaurant in Los Angeles until they closed. Then I found a place in Montrose, CA (The Blackcow Cafe) that made one that was every bit as good as Buffums. Then we moved to Utah and the only way I am going to get this sandwich is to make it myself. While I was watching Sandwich King I kept yelling at the TV where is the powdered sugar!!! Finally he got it out although he didn't put enough on it for my liking ;) and you have to have strawberry jam with this sandwich it makes it. I do like the idea of the habarnero it will give it a nice kick.

vanillasugarblog said...

very nice shel
i cannot wait to make this just for the jam!

Kathleen said...

Shelby. Wow this looks fabulous!!!

Linda said...

Looks delicious. I am with you on the Gruyere and spicy. My Hubby can't handle the heat either. ;) But he does love Monte Cristo sandwiches.

Katherine Martinelli said...

What a combo!! I haven't heard of that tv show before but this sandwich looks killer. That strawberry jabanero sauce has my name all over it!

teresa said...

oh that jam is amazing! love this sandwich!

Robert Richards Recipes said...

You are a talented person to come up with a recipe like this one. I'm so happy you decided to share it with the world. :-D

Coleens Recipes said...

I just love the new look of your web page, I've been meaning to tell you that for a while now. I think picky-picky husband would run away from home if I put ANYTHING spicy on his sandwich, but it sure sounds scrumptious.

Shelby said...

Hi Robert, thank you for stopping by! I like to think I'm talented but unfortunately I'm not the one who came up with this idea :) Sure wish I was though!

Shelby said...

:) Good to see you out and about again Coleen! I could barely taste the pepper myself, which was why I wished I dared to use more, but someone who isn't used to heat probably would notice in a heartbeat! Its ok, you can still serve it to him without the heat. :)

Shelby said...

Thanks Teresa and yes, that jam is amazing!

Shelby said...

Hi Linda! Good to see you back in the internet world! Hope your all settled in....and I've decided that we love Monte Cristo sandwiches too....but I'm definitely going to make it with the Gruyere and a spicier jam for myself sometime soon!

Shelby said...

Thanks Katherine! I'm heading over your way this morning to link this one up! :)

Shelby said...

Thanks Barbara!

Shelby said...

I admit I was too lazy to find my shaker and fill it up for this. LOL I probably should have though, would have been a prettier presentation! The habarnero is awesome :)

Shelby said...

Thank you much Dawn!

Shelby said...

Thanks Kathleen!

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