Friday, May 6, 2011
Apple, Cheddar and Bacon Monte Cristo
One of my all-time favorite meals is grilled cheese and tomato soup. Doesn't that just conjure up kidhood? I was never much of a fan of peanut butter and jelly. To this day, the only time I eat peanut butter is in a sauce. That's another kidhood staple. I guess soda pop is too. But, we were only allowed one Coke a week. We could get it from the soda machine under the stairs at church. So, after Sunday school we got our pop. And, we were further underprivileged in that we weren't allowed to watch much tv. You have no idea how many times I've thanked my mother for being so strict. I'll choose a glass of water over Coke or Pepsi anyday. And, the tv in our home is rarely on unless there's a game we want to watch (football, baseball or hockey) or unless I really want to watch FoodTV.
Fortunately or unfortunately for my hips and cholesterol count, cheese is one kidhood staple that's stuck with me. Mom used to do grilled cheese with Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp Cheddar and white bread. She'd serve it with Campbell's Cream of Tomato Soup made with milk - never made with water. Now, I'll experiment with just about any kind of grilled cheese. Actually, grilled cheese is pretty often the first dish that comes to mind when I need something quick. After all, we're the nuts with over a dozen kinds of cheese in the fridge at any one point in time...
Then, there's breakfast. Eggs, waffles, bacon, french toast, hash browns... Bring it on. I love breakfast. I still use my grandmother's old griddle. I know they make the nice non-stick ones now. But, there's something about using her things that just makes me feel connected.
Needless to say, when I saw a recipe that combined grilled cheese with french toast, I was ready to make it right then. Don't ask why I've never paid attention to recipes for a Monte Cristo before. As my next younger brother would say, not enough o's in stooopid I guess. Well, I've now solved that lapse in judgment with Rachael Ray's Apple, Cheddar and Bacon Monte Cristo's. As she would say, YUM!
Rachael Ray's Apple, Cheddar and Bacon Monte Cristos
6 slices good quality bacon
4 slices peasant or sourdough bread
1/4 to 1/3 lb extra-sharp white cheddar cheese
2 gala apples, cored and thinly sliced
2 large eggs
1/4 c half and half
pinch freshly ground nutmeg
butter or olive oil
shagbark hickory or maple syrup
Fry and drain the bacon. Slice the cheese very thinly. I used four slices per sandwich. Whisk the eggs, half and half and the nutmeg in a shallow, wide bowl.
Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil or butter in a large skillet. Dip one side each of two slices of bread and put the bread dipped side down in the sizzling olive oil or butter. Layer on each two slices of cheese
then enough apple slices to cover the cheese.
Add the bacon slices. Or, in my case, I had already cooked bacon pieces so used those up...
Then, add the rest of the cheese.
Top with slices of bread - the dipped side out.
Cook until the first side is nice and brown then flip. Once the second side is nice and brown and the cheese is wonderfully melty, serve your sandwiches.