Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Olive, Sundried Tomato and Artichoke Monte Cristo

I find it so fascinating that I have been cooking for over 25 years and never had a Monte Cristo sandwich until now. I didn't even know what it was! Of course once it was explained to me as French Toast with lots of decadence sandwiched between, I immediately had to give it a try.

This is definitely brunch fare, very rich and delicious, and not for any of you who are dieting or worrying about your cholesterol! However, it's a wonderful treat and I highly recommend playing around with the fillings to suit your tastes.

The authentic Monte Cristo Sandwich is gouda and turkey filled French Toast, but wanting a vegetarian version, here's what I created: Greek yogurt, chevre, olives, sundried tomatoes, basil and marinated artichoke hearts. It's a party in  your mouth!

Olive, Sundried Tomato and Artichoke Monte Cristo
(makes 3 large sandwiches)

6 slices of good bread (wholegrain, peasant, rye)
1/2 cup greek yogurt, plain
2 oz chevre goat cheese
4 oz neufchatel (or use regular cream cheese if you desire)
10 green olives, pitted and chopped
5 sundried tomatoes, chopped (if packed in oil, just drain; is dry, rehydrate in boiling hot water until soft)
4 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts
9 large basil leaves
1 avocado
3 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
plastic wrap

Stack slices of bread in 1 stack and cut off crusts on all sides. In large bowl, mix yogurt, goat cheese, and neufchatel until well blended. Add in olives, sundried tomatoes and artichoke hearts and mix well. Distribute spread evenly among three slices of bread. Top spread with basil leaves and slices of avocado. Place plain piece of bread on top of each one and wrap each sandwich tightly in plastic wrap. Place sandwiches on cutting board and place another cutting board on top and weigh down with canned goods or jars filled with pantry goods and allow to press for at least 30 minutes. In bowl wide enough to dip sandwiches, beat eggs with milk and set aside. Unwrap sandwiches and dip in egg mixture, allowing each side to rest 5-10 seconds per side to soak up the egg. Fry on both sides over medium low heat, covering with lid to keep in heat. Serve immediately.


Recipes currently inspiring me:

Herb, Chard and Feta Soup with Beer Biscuits at Eats Well With Others
Ginger, Chilli Chicken at ECurry!
Guinness Brownies at But Yes...I Do Eat Potatoes

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