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!
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.