Saturday, January 17, 2009

Comfort Food: Monte Cristo Sandwiches

A frigid blitzkrieg of cold arctic weather has smashed into East Tennessee. You can hear it in the crunch under your feet if you walk on soil. The inhospitable weather bites into you the second you step out of the door. So what better night of the year is there for some great comfort food, like Monte Cristo sandwiches and tomato-basil soup?

Steve's Tomato & Basil Soup is one I found on BigOven about a year and a half ago. You haven't had tomato soup until you've made it at home. For my tastes, I like to run the food processor/blender a little longer for smoother consistency. That way, I didn't need to use a coarse sieve to strain the soup as the instructions list as an option.

Monte Cristo sandwiches
Is there a more perfect comfort food? I mean, it's a freaking ham and swiss sandwich cooked like french toast! It's not the prettiest thing by any means but it more than makes up for that in the flavor department.

Like I said earlier, it was cold as [enter your colorful simile here], so I used what I had on hand to avoid going out in the bitter "find every draft/gap in your clothing" cold.

4 slices white bread, crusts removed
2 t prepared mustard (the yellow stuff)
6 ea slices black forest ham
2 ea slices swiss cheese
2 ea eggs
1/4 c milk or half and half......*%($ it, use cream
1/4 t kosher salt
1/4 t black pepper, ground

Slather the mustard on one side of each piece of bread. Place two pieces of bread mustard side up. Layer ham and swiss on top of those two pieces (I wouldn't hate you if you snuck in a piece of bacon or two, also).

Place the remaining two pieces of bread on top of the stacks, mustard side down (duh?). Cut the two sandwiches in half, diagonally (Does the word "diagonally" always remind you of the 1970's/80's game Score Four?).

Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt & pepper.

Melt 1 tb of butter in a heated saute pan (Yes, you're right, I didn't list that in the ingredients but apparently, it's easier for me to write this sentence than to go back and list it).

Dip the sandwich triangles in the egg mixture on both sides. Place them in the hot saute pan and cook for about 1-2 minutes per side, until browned.

Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar and serve with rasperry jelly/preserves/whateveryoucanfind on the side.

These were perfect for dinner on a cold night like tonight!