Friday, August 31, 2012

Monte Cristo with Strawberry Habanero Jam

We're now entering year two of home ownership. It's great. When we first moved in, we didn't do much. The previous owners did a lot of work on the place, and we didn't see ourselves wanting to change much.

How naive we were. We (and by "we" I mostly mean my husband) have since learned that home ownership is a continuous string of projects that are assured to take at least twice as long as you think they're going to take. And I have since learned the wonders of stations like HGTV and DIY network and am convinced that the shower/tub area of our master bath needs to be re-done with mosaic tiles. I think my husband would appreciate it if I stopped watching these stations.

Most recently, we installed a ceiling fan in our kitchen. The fixture the previous owners chose for the kitchen used LED lights that burned so hot that it was almost unbearable to be in the kitchen while the light was on for any length of time.

At least it looked cool?

Next up - replacing the two-prong sockets with grounded three-prong sockets. It's bound to be riveting.

We both really liked these Monte Cristo sandwiches. They were a great alternative to the traditional kind that is battered and deep fried (please do not interpret that to mean I'm trying to convey that these sandwiches are healthy - they're not). We weren't the hugest fans of the strawberry habanero jam. Honestly, I think I would've really loved it on a waffle or on ice cream, but for me, it didn't go well with the meat.

Monte Cristo Sandwiches with Strawberry Habanero Jam
Recipe from Jeff Mauro, adapted
Serves 4
Prep Time - 10 min
Cook Time - 20 min


Strawberry Habanero Jam
4 cups sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 lbs frozen strawberries
1 habanero pepper, stem and seeds removed, finely minced

1 cup 2% milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
pinch nutmeg
2 eggs

Sandwich Build
8 slices Sourdough
4 slices Swiss Cheese
4 slices American Cheese
6 oz shaved honey ham
6 oz shaved turkey breast
4 TBSP salted butter
Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)

Strawberry Habanero Jam
In a 4-quart saucepan set over medium heat, add the sugar and orange juice, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Turn up the heat to high and add the strawberries and habanero. Bring to a boil, stirring often. After boiling for about a minute, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool slightly. Once cooled, you can serve immediately. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about a week.

In a baking dish, whisk together the milk, salt, sugar, nutmeg, and eggs. Set aside.

Sandwich Build
Preheat a large pan over medium heat. Top a slice of sourdough with a slice of Swiss, one-quarter of the ham, one-quarter of the turkey, a slice of American cheese, and the second slice of sourdough.

Dip the sandwiches into the custard, letting the excess drip off. Add some butter to the pan and gently fry each sandwich until golden brown, 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from the pan, dust with some powdered sugar, and serve some of the strawberry habanero jam on the side.


Joanne said...

I feel like we have the opposite situation boyfriend is always trying to fix things up in my apartment and because I know I won't be living here super long, I'm always trying to stop and/or dissuade him. :) We have mosaic tiles in my parents' bathroom.

I love a good monte cristo! Too bad the strawberry habanero jam just didn't go.

dm said...

Raspberry habanero jam is one of my favorite jams for dipping jalepeno poppers. Try it with raspberry.