Sunday, February 24, 2013

Beer Battered Monte Cristo Sandwiches with Homemade Chipotle-Strawberry Jam

Beer Battered Monte Cristo Sandwiches with Homemade Chipotle-Strawberry Jam
Beer Battered Monte Cristo Sandwiches?? Yeah, that's the perfect way to start any Sunday morning. 

So, what's the cast of characters, you ask, well they are...

Brioche Bread (yes that buttery, heavenly, yet sinfully delicious bread)
Dijon Mustard
Gruyere Cheese
Honey Ham + Honey Turkey
Vanilla Bean Scented Beer Batter (vanilla bean goes in everything)
Confectioners' Sugar
Homemade Chipotle-Strawberry Jam 

This was one of our favorite brunches to date. I especially love Monte Cristo's, but my Mountain Man hadn't ever really had one. So, I explained to him that they were ham + cheese sandwiches that get the "french toast treatment", and then they are served with a dusting of confectioners' sugar and maple syrup or fruit preserves. We ended up deciding to go the fruit preserve route because I've caught the pickling + preserving bug this year, so any chance that I get to make a new concoction, then I'm on board. The only thing I was worried about was that between all of these sweet flavors, I knew we would want a spicy kick somewhere in the recipe. That's when I officially went off the deep end and added in some chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. This simple addition brought a nice smokiness + spiciness to the jam, but didn't overpower the natural sweetness of the berries. And lemme tell y'all, it perfectly complemented the sandwiches. Now for the good part... the beer batter. It's studded with a'whole'lotta beer, vanilla beans, cinnamon, and nutmeg. After assembling the sandwiches, you dip them into this luscious, smooth batter, and then you deep fry them in the hot oil until they are golden brown + crispy. Once they are "crunchified", you can slice 'em up and cover them in a good ole' dusting of that powdery, white sugar and then dip them into the sweet + spicy jam. And trust me folks, you get every foodie sensation from these guys... crispy, hot, buttery, melty, spicy, tangy, and ever-so-sweet. We loved these Monte Cristo's and I'm sure your family & friends will too!! Enjoy :)

These are soooooo good, people!!

For the Chipotle-Strawberry Preserves:
3C Sugar
2 Lemons, Zested & Juiced
¼t Salt
2C Strawberries, Cut into Small Cubes
1C Strawberries, Smashed
3 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo, Minced

For the Beer Batter:
2C AP Flour
1T Sugar
Pinch of Salt & Freshly Grated Nutmeg
¼t Cinnamon
1 Vanilla Bean, Split & Scraped for Seeds
1t Vanilla Extract
1C + 6T Beer
Few Drops of Yellow Food Dye

For the Monte Cristo Sandwiches:
Prepared Beer Batter
Slices of Brioche Bread
Dijon Mustard, For Spreading
Slices of Honey Ham + Honey Turkey
Gruyere or Swiss Cheese (sliced or shredded)
Vegetable Oil, For Frying
Confectioners’ Sugar, For Dusting
Chilled Chipotle-Strawberry Preserves, For Serving

1. For the Chipotle-Strawberry Preserves: In a deep pot, mix together the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt. Cook over medium heat, while whisking, until the sugar dissolves. Add in the cubed strawberries, mashed strawberries, and minced chipotle peppers. Bring the mixture to a light bowl and simmer for another 20-30 minutes. Check the gel consistency by placing a small amount of the jam on a plate and refrigerate. If it is still runny, then simmer for another 10 minutes or so until it gels properly. Once you have reached the desired consistency, place the hot jam into sterilized jars and seal. Chill some of the jam for serving.
2. Heat the vegetable oil in your deep fryer to 350 degrees.
3. For the Beer Batter: Put all the dry ingredients and spices in a bowl and whisk together. Add in the beer, vanilla extract, and yellow food dye. Whisk until lumps are gone.
4. For the Monte Cristo Sandwiches: Assemble the sandwiches by spreading each slice of bread with a little Dijon mustard, and then layer on some cheese, followed by the ham, turkey, more cheese, and the other piece of bread. Place two toothpicks into the sandwiches, so that when you dip and fry them, they will stay together. Dip the sandwiches into the beer batter and let the excess drain off. Gently lay them into the hot oil for about 3-5 minutes or until golden brown & crispy. Remove the crispy sandwiches from the hot oil onto a paper towel lined plate to drain any excess oil. Cut them in half to form smaller triangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar.
5. Eat the sandwiches while they are still hot with some Chipotle-Strawberry Preserves for dipping!


  1. I have been making Monte Cristo sandwiches since I was about 12 years old when I first had 1 at Disneyland in California at the blue bayou restaurant. They were so good I knew I just had to go home and make them for myself. What and inspired update and grown up version of the sandwich you're a genius can't wait to try these out this weekend. Miss B

    1. I have always loved Monte Cristo Sandwiches and was shocked that my Mountain Man had not! They are just so amazingly delicious. I have heard great things about the Disneyland version, but haven't gotten a chance to try one myself... maybe one day! Let me know how they end up tasting!