Years ago I took a trip to El Paso, Texas to visit relatives. One of the most exciting things I talked about when I returned (other than the incredibly cheap happy hours) was the Monte Cristo Sandwich. The sandwich is stuffed with ham, turkey, and cheese, dipped in batter and deep fried. After given a dusting of powdered sugar the glorious concoction is then served with strawberry preserves. For years I had been trying to track down a Monte Cristo Sandwich as good as the one I had in El Paso. I located one at the Jolly Rogers Hotel in Anaheim and it was good, but not great. I tried to get one at The Tartan Room in Orange, only to discover that they only serve 'em up on the weekdays from 11:00-2:00 (which is when I'm usually at work).
Imagine my surprise when someone told me that the best Monte Cristo Sandwich is served at The Blue Bayou restaurant in Disneyland......you know that restaurant you see when you board the Pirates of the Carribean ride. I had a hard time believing that, seeing as I've never had a good meal at Disneyland. I haven't had time to make it down to the theme park lately, but was pleased when I found a recipe in the Orange County Register last week! It's simple and delicious. Here's the recipe...
Monte Cristo Sandwich Blue Bayou
2/3 c. water
1 small egg
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. white pepper
few drops yellow food coloring
2/3 c. all-purpose flour
1 3/4 t. 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 4 sandwiches.
8 slices white bread
4 slices turkey (1 oz. each)
4 slices swiss cheese
4 slices Pullman ham
Make 4 sandwiches, putting cheese between hand and turkey. Cut into fourths and put a toothpick through each quarter.
soybean or vegetable oil for frying
currant jelly or strawberry preserve
Heat about 6-inches of oil to 340F in a fryer. Dip sandwiches in batter to cover all surfaces. Deep fry sandwiches until golden brown, turning as needed. Remove from oil, take out toothpicks, sprinkle sandwiches with confectioners' sugar. Serve with currant jelly or strawberry preserve and fries.
Blue Bayou is located in New Orleans Square in Disneyland (the moonlit dining terrace that overlooks Laffite's Landing, entry to the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction)