I am sure you moms out there can agree that there are a few questions we hear on the daily that we could definitely do with out. Like “what’s for dinner”. I hear this question anywhere from 3-6 times per day. Everyday. 365 days a year. I guess that’s what I get for having a large family. And since I am feeding what feels like a small army, I have to figure out how to make something delicious in a reasonable amount of time. No one wants to live in the kitchen. My family is totally spoiled when it comes to dinner. They are used to variety and multiple side dishes. So if I’m feeling lazy and make what I call a “one hit wonder” (a dish with veggies, meat, and whatever else) they immediately say, “is this all we are having??”. Then I have to try and contain my exaggerated sighs and eye rolling and politely respond with a “yes” rather than a “ANYONE ELSE WANT TO VOLUNTEER AND COOK FOR YOU ALL!!??” (But maybe sometimes I respond that way.)
So while my husband and I were grocery shopping yesterday he asked if I had plans for dinner. I said, “no not yet” because we were pretty food less before our trip. I usually plan out a few weeks of meals then make a list. But I didn’t do that yesterday. I’m not sure why, I made a list and was mentally deciding what we would have this week. So as my husband was asking, he was holding some dinner rolls. He said, “maybe we could do something with these?”. I stood there a minute thinking, “what the heck, who plans a meal around dinner rolls?!?”. Then sandwiches popped in my head, knowing that I had an abundance of farm fresh eggs I needed to use, Monte Cristo’s seemed to be the perfect option. My husband said he’s never even heard of them, but agreed they sounded good. I can’t just make the sandwich with cheese and ham. First off, I don’t eat pork, secondly… that’s just too boring for me.
When we got home the first thing that was asked was, “what’s for dinner”. And of course the kids had never heard of monte cristo’s either. We did some traditional ones and then we had some fun making other gourmet sandwiches. No one had the same sandwich last night. For my sandwich, I wanted to use portabella caps, swiss cheese, avocado, and turkey bacon. So here’s my hamless Monte Cristo recipe.
I started by chopping and sautéing my mushroom caps in a little extra virgin olive oil.
I seasoned the mushrooms with ground garlic, parsley flakes, and a little salt and pepper. The mushrooms tend to absorb the oil so add more oil if you need to. Just be careful not to make it too oily, unless that’s your thing, oily greasy foods.
I made my own version of a garlic spread. I didn’t measure anything, just threw stuff in a bowl and mixed it up. I make this a lot, and use it for veggie dip as well as a spread. Pretty simple spread, sprinkle garlic powder and dill into a bowl of mayo (I prefer the whip dressing) and add a little mustard to taste.
I used my spread on both sides of my bread to make it extra creamy once the cheese was melted. I added three slices of swiss cheese. One on both sides and then one in the middle of all my sandwich guts. I tore them so they weren’t hanging over. Cheese that hangs over gets sacrificed to the griddle Gods. And that’s just wasteful in my opinion.
I tried to layer my ingredients so the melted cheese would hold everything together. What’s not pictured is the beaten eggs. Before your sandwich goes to the griddle, dip both sides of the sandwich in some beaten eggs. Add a little butter to your griddle so the bread doesn’t stick.
Press sandwich to make sure all that cheese melts all over. Other versions of a monte cristo made last night included: cheddar jack cheese bread, peppered bacon, and turkey and cheese. There were no two sandwiches alike.