Thursday, April 25, 2013
LEFTOVER VEGAN FRENCH TOAST BATTER? MAKE A WHOLEGRAIN VEGAN MONTE CRISTO SANDWICH
I love the Vegg egg yolk sub for making French toast-- it makes the BEST, most authentic vegan French toast I have ever tried. I made lots of French toast for my granddaughters this last weekend, but had some batter leftover (the recipe is on the Vegg package, by the way, but also below in the sandwich recipe). (PS: You can use your own favorite vegan French toast batter, of course, as long as it's not sweet.)
This morning I decided to use the leftover batter to make an old-fashioned sandwich that I haven't had for years-- a Monte Cristo Sandwich. It's basically a ham and turkey sandwich with cheese, dipped in French toast batter and browned on both sides until the cheese melts. Traditionally, this is served with currant jelly, strawberry jam or cranberry sauce on the side, but I ate my version just plain. I also bucked tradition and used a lovely moist 100% whole wheat sourdough bread that we occasionally by from a local bakery, instead of the usual white bread. The result was very satisfying, to say the least!
The origins of this sandwich are a little murky. The Food Timeline website says: "Recipe-wise, food experts generally consider the Monte Cristo sandwich to be a simple variation of an early 20th century French dish called Croque Monsieur. According to several articles published in newspapers and magazines, Monte Cristo sandwiches were first served in southern California and were very popular in the 1950s-1970s. Therin ends the agreement. The who/what/why/where/when behind the Monte Cristo sandwich is still very much a subject of debate.
The earliest reference we find to a Monte Cristo sandwich is printed in a 1941 menu from Gordon's on Wilshire Blvd., Los Angles. We do not know how these were made. The oldest recipe we have (so far) for the Monte Cristo sandwich was printed in The Brown Derby Cook Book, 1949. The Brown Derby restaurant is located in Los Angeles, California and is famous for serving Hollywood's elite."
"Several popular American cookbooks published in the 1920s-60s published recipes for sandwiches which are essentially Monte Cristos [ham--sliced & deviled/turkey/chicken sandwiches dipped in egg & then fried to a tasty golden brown], under different names."
If you'd like to try it, here's my vegan version:
BRYANNA'S VEGAN MONTE CRISTO SANDWICH
For each sandwich:
2 slices of bread (it's supposed to be white, but I used an artisan sourdough whole wheat:
I slathered my own homemade lowfat vegan mayonnaise on one side (use whatever mayo you prefer) and some seedy Dijon mustard on the other.
I folded three slices of Tofurky Peppered "Turkey" slices and placed them over the mayonnaise side, and 2 slices of vegan "ham" (a Chinese product this time, but use any type you like) over the mustard side.
Top the "ham side" with some white vegan "cheese" (a meltable type-- Mozza Daiya Shreds in this case)-- next time I'm going to try the homemade Vegan Gruyere from my book "World Vegan Feast".
Carefully put the 2 sides together (try not to lose the cheese!) and dip in the Vegg French Toast batter on both sides. (NOTE: The batter thickened up alot after a couple of days in the fridge, so I whisked in some nondairy milk to thin it out a bit.) BATTER RECIPE: Whisk together 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup nondairy milk of your choice, and 2 tsp Vegg powder. (PS: You can use your own favorite vegan French toast batter, of course, as long as it's not sweet.)
Heat a non-stick, or cast iron, or hard-anodized skillet over medium heat, spray with oil from a pump sprayer and add a bit of vegan butter to the pan as well, if you like (no more than a tsp.). When the pan is hot, place the sandwich in the pan, cover and cook for about 4 minutes. Remove the lid and carefully turn the sandwich over. Cook about 3-4 minutes more, or until the cheese is melted and the bottom is nicely browned.
Now, cut in half and enjoy while it's nice and hot!