Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mmmmmmmonte Cristos

Monte Cristos are pretty much in a world of their own in terms of sandwiches. Is it breakfast? Is it dessert? Wait, there's sugar on that sandwich? My friend, Karen, would call them a VIOLATION. To Karen, it is a "violation" to mix sweet with savory. She takes this quite seriously - no chicken with sweet teriyaki sauce, no pineapple on her pizza and definitely no strawberry jam with her cheese and ham sandwich.

I am completely the opposite. I love violations. Salty peanut butter with chocolate. Apples on my grilled cheese. And yes, Monte Cristos are one of my favorites. I've enjoyed these since I was a kid and have tried many varieties over the years. There are a multitude of variations. Normally, they are prepared with sliced turkey along with the ham and cheese. Traditionally, the sandwich is dipped in egg batter and fried. Alternately, I have had it grilled, served as an open-faced sandwich, and even made with french toast as a base. They are normally served with a dusting of powdered sugar and a side of fruit jam or preserves (normally strawberry). Mmmmm... When I came across this recipe recently for a quick and cheap way to whip up one of my favorite guilty pleasures, I had to try it. As I said, I said I've eaten them over the years, but really, I don't do so quite so often these days as they aren't exactly a healthy option. Making my own version of this guilty pleasure where I can control the ingredients left me super excited!

I am always coming across coupons for crescent roll dough, so I picked up a couple of packages for a great price. I bought one of those small (cheap) packages of honey ham (literally, it was .88 cents). And the rest of the ingredients we always have on hand.  I will warn you this recipe has a lot of wiggle room, but that is the beauty of it. You can't go wrong!!

Take two pre-cut triangles to make rectangle
Monte Cristo Pockets

  • Thinly sliced deli meat (I like turkey or ham, but you can use any)
  • Sliced or shredded cheese (I like using lowfat white cheese - ideally Swiss - but again you can use any)
  • 1 package crescent rolls (I use reduced fat - reduces the GUILT, but not the flavor!)
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Jam/Preserves (any kind)
  • Pam (or other non-stick cooking spray)
Line a baking sheet with foil. This step is not required, but does make for easier cleanup if your cheese oozes out. Unroll the crescent rolls, keeping two of the triangles together (it forms a rectangle). Lightly press the seams together.

Put two or three pieces of meat on one half of the rectangle. Layer with a piece (or shreds) of cheese. Fold the other half of the dough over your cheese and meat forming a pocket and seal edges by pressing down with your fingers. Bake at 375ยบ for 15-18 minutes. Prepare yourself for how good it is going to smell in your kitchen as these bake. Once they are golden brown, it is time to take them out of the oven, dust with powdered sugar and serve with a heaping tablespoon of your favorite jam. Makes four sandwich pockets.
Enjoy and please let us know if you try these!

- Courtney 

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