A Good Example of Why a Knock-off is a Knock-off
|My friend, Sara, of i like to cook recently posted a fun week of sandwiches. I tend to overlook sandwiches in favor of something more complicated. I know! What the hell is wrong with me? Well after reading 7 days worth of delicious and unique sammies on her blog, I got myself a cravin'.. a bad, bad craving. A "so not on your diet you hog!" kinda sammich. I tried to not give in, but well.. I haven't had chocolate in 4 fakkin' days!! That's FOUR DAYS WITHOUT MY LIFE SOURCE people! Okay well, I guess I just lied again. I did enjoy a handful of mini chocolate flavored rice cakes the other day. And by enjoy I mean, blech ewww puke buickkkkkkk.|
My craving was for a delicious Monte Cristo. (I know, could I have picked a worse sammich? I think not.) I had my choice of two recipes. A knock off of Bennigan's Monte Cristo, which I've had and enjoyed quite a bit. Theirs was crispedy, crunchedy and light and airy.. yes, although it is a DEEP FRIED sandwich, theirs was not heavy.
My other choice was a Monte Cristo with a lighter batter and baked, not deep fried. This one was much lower on fat (really, Lis? I never would have guessed.) and had mustard on it. It got rave reviews.. the kind that mostly said, "I've ate a 100 deep fried Monte Cristo sammies and your version is not only healthy but tastes equisite!"
So which one did I go for?
For those of you who guessed the baked one.. you obviously haven't been reading my blog for very long. :P
OF COURSE I went for the deep fried version.. Paula Deen IS my idol after all! Hello? Have ya'll been drinking?
And so I began to make the batter and as I was mixing in the huge amount of flour to the lesser amount of liquid, I thought something might be awry.. this was a very thick batter and dipping my triple decker whole wheat, roasted chicken (went with real chicken as opposed to buying pieces/parts deli turkey slices), bavarian ham, swiss & american cheesed sammich was not easy. You know how you are walking on wet ground and you accidentally step in a mud hole? First you are sqicked, but you keep going only to realize that your next step is shoeless? Because the mud sucked your shoe right off your left foot? Yeah well my poor sammich kept getting it's chicken sucked out from the bread because this stuff was so damn thick. But I persevered.. you know me.. where a normal person would thin out that batter before going on, not I. No sir. I'm bound and determined to get my sammich dipped without losing any more scrumptious chicken breast by trying a different technique - you know a different wrist bend angle? To try to "slide" the sammich in under the goop and then twist the wrist to outsmart the goo by giving it a fake left and then rushing the right?
I had a lot of chicken breast to pick outta the batter.
After getting my sammich all battered up I gently layed it in the deep fryer and right before my eyes I watched my whole wheat bread absorb that oil. Mmm mmm good. I figured if I just let it set in there for a while, the sandwich would eventually repel all that oil. That the thick coating of protective goo would shield my sammich from the bad juju of the hot oil.
While taking it out of the oil and letting the excess grease drain, I realized that my sammich had gained about 50 pounds. That sucker got heavy! I laid it on some paper towels to absorb the excess oil (PLEASE DON'T TELL ALTON) and carried on making a second sammich for Hubbs.
Once both were done, we sat down to watch Ugly Betty and enjoy our restaurant knock-off Monte Cristo sammiches. I made it to about 1/2 of a 1/2 of the sammich. He made it to a little over half before we just dropped them back down on the plate and sat there feeling as if someone had poured cement down our gullets while we weren't looking. God.
Why am I posting such a crappy sammich? Well.. I'm thinking that this could have potential. Maybe using canola oil for the frying wasn't the right kind of oil? Maybe if the batter is thinned out it'd take less time to get to it's golden brown deliciousness and therefore wouldn't be as heavy, but more like the crispedy, crunchedy light and airy version that Bennigan's serves. But maybe, this post will jar your memory about how good a Monte Cristo can be and you'll all go search out the baked version and try that one instead. ;)
I'm not even going to post this recipe.. if you are adventurous and want to try to make it the traditional way, then check it out here
I hope everyone enjoy's their weekend! We've got a brand new group of Daring Bakers for May and I'll have their links up this weekend, so be prepared to go check out some amazing blogs!
Salads.. I'm so about the salads for the rest of the week/weekend!