Saturday, August 1, 2009

GCI Kama Sutra Award-Winning Monte Cristo with Berry Merlot Sauce

A couple of years before we met, my husband won 1st place in the Kama Sutra category at the Grilled Cheese Invitational with his “Monte Cheesemo” sandwich.
His “1st Place Kama Sutra” trophy was actually the catalyst for our first flirtatious conversation. When I asked about it, he somewhat reluctantly informed me that it didn’t actually have anything to do with the Kama Sutra – that was just the name of the GCI’s “anything goes” category, and his entry had been a deep-fried ham, turkey and cheese Monte Cristo with a blackberry merlot sauce.
It may not have been as sexual as the trophy had seemed to imply, but was it sexy? Oh, yes.
The fact that this man had the desire, skills and creativity to put this recipe together and execute it flawlessly in the heat of fierce competition was no small factor in my falling in love with, and a year later, marrying him.

Ever since learning of his Champion recipe, I’ve asked him to make it for me, since I missed the original competition. He was always willing, but somehow never got around to it until I requested it for my birthday this year.
So this afternoon my husband made a terrific mess of our kitchen, and I finally got to taste his magnificent masterpiece.
The verdict?: Absolutely delicious in the most decadent way!
The saltiness of the ham and turkey was beautifully balanced with the sweetness of the berry merlot sauce. The creaminess of the cheese, the bite of the meats, the fluffy potato bread and the perfectly crisped batter were a divine textural symphony.
This is not a meal you want to eat everyday (well, you may want to, but you probably shouldn’t!), but for a special birthday treat on a warm summer afternoon, it was heavenly!

He even let me document the process, and has given me permission to share his recipe with you.

The Monte Cheesemo
(Ham, Turkey and Cheese Monte Cristo with Berry Merlot Sauce)

Black Forest ham
Mesquite smoked turkey breast
Potato bread
Ementaller Swiss cheese
Jack cheese
1 egg
Frozen (or fresh!) blackberries
Merlot wine (the fruitier the better)
Powdered sugar


In a small saucepan, combine about 8 oz. frozen blackberries, about ½ cup merlot and ½ cup sugar.
Cook over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.
“Reduce until yummy”.
Let sauce cool.
This makes enough sauce for about 3 sandwiches. If you’re not making that many, save the extra sauce, chill it and serve it over ice cream for a dreamy dessert!

Mix about 1 cup Bisquick with 1 egg and enough milk to make a thin, tempura-like batter (this should make enough for 3 sandwiches).
Heat about 1 inch of oil in a large frying pan.
Layer ham, turkey and cheeses between two slices of potato bread.
Dip sandwiches in batter and carefully put into oil. Fry until crisp and golden brown, turning once.
Drain briefly on paper towels, cut each sandwich in half and spoon sauce over.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar, serve and enjoy!

If you are unfamiliar with the Grilled Cheese Invitational, I implore you to visit their website and take a stroll around – it is quite entertaining (the Rules are especially amusing), and you may find a regional event in your area to check out!

1 comment:

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