Thursday, April 7, 2011

Monte is on a diet Cristo

Monte Cristo is my all-time favorite sandwich.  This love goes way back to lunches with my grandmother in Los Angeles.  As the years passed, I could hardly wait to visit Disneyland for a chance to eat a Monte Cristo in the Blue Bayou restaurant there.  Recently, I returned to the Blue Bayou, only to discover they removed my 'favorite' from their menu.  What a disappointment!

I love Monte Cristos for their gooiness inside, their crunchiness outside, and the combination of savory and sweet.  So many flavors and textures all in one sandwich!  It dawned on me that I could achieve the same qualities I love with much less fat and calories, and so this recipe was born.

Sometimes only real butter will do.  I tried using light butter to "fry" up the sandwiches and all I achieved was sogginess.  A tiny bit of butter for each sandwich made all the difference.  Using otherwise light ingredients gave me a Monte Cristo close to the ones I remember - and a new favorite sandwich.

Favorite Monte Cristo

3/4 cup nonfat milk
1/2 cup nonfat egg substitute
8 slices light whole grain bread, such as SaraLee Delightful
4 teaspoons dijon mustard, optional 
4 (3/4-ounce) slices light Jarlsberg Swiss cheese
4 ounces thinly sliced cooked turkey breast
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon unbleached flour
4 teaspoons strawberry preserves
2 teaspoons powdered sugar

In flat bowl such as glass pie plate, combine milk and egg substitute; set aside.  Make sandwiches by spreading mustard, if using, on each of four pieces bread, topping with one slice cheese and one fourth turkey, then with second piece of bread.

On flat skillet, melt butter over medium heat; spread it out to cover entire skillet.  Dip each sandwich, top and bottom, into milk mixture, just like making French toast.  Sprinkle a tiny bit of flour over top and bottom of each sandwich.  Place all four sandwiches on skillet and cook until first side is golden brown.  Flip sandwiches and cook until other side is also golden brown.

Cut sandwiches diagonally and place on plates.  Serve each with a dollop of strawberry preserves and sprinkled with powdered sugar.  Makes 4 servings, 6 points plus each.

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