Today for lunch we had Monte Cristo sandwiches, sweet potato oven fries, and Koolickles, the prospect of which were met with much anticipation from me. Mixed reviews on the Koolickles, but I heard no complaints on the rest of the meal.
For the Monte Cristo, I headed to the deli counter at United, where I'm starting to feel that I know the people running the slicers. Like I noticed that the cute dark-haired guy who shaved his head (Why?!?) is growing his hair in again. I'm usually ordering cheese and meat in what I feel are huge quantities, so they probably remember me, too. Last night it was a couple dozen thin slices of Black Forest ham and turkey, plus forty-eight slices of smoked Gruyère cheese.
I was pretty peeved last night that my United didn't have a couple of items I felt I had to have for this sandwich, first, Pepperidge Farm Hearty White bread, and second, Robert Rothschild Farm Hot Pepper Raspberry Preserves. I was looking forward to making a dipping sauce with spicy raspberry jam. I could have improvised something with regular preserves, but why? So I had to go gallivanting across town to another United, and with gas prices what they are, I was none too happy. Speaking of prices, I noticed Ghiradelli semi-sweet baking bars went from their long established $2.29/bar to $2.49 in the past week. Disaster!
Back to the sandwich. We started with a slice of bread and spread a mixture of the pepper preserves and Dijon mustard on top. Next we layered cheese, ham, turkey, cheese, ham, turkey, and a final layer of cheese, topped off with another jellied slice of bread. This is dipped in an egg batter fairly similar to French Toast batter and pan fried. Out of the frying pan, the sandwich is dusted with powdered sugar and served with leftover raspberry spread.
If you've ever eaten this sandwich at a restaurant, especially around here, it was probably deep fried. The combination of an eggy batter, ham, turkey, at least one cheese variety, and frying oil earned this sandwich the moniker Monte Crisco in our family. Alongside sweet potato fries and decadent dessert, this was no low-cal meal. I'm not sure what it is with me and diner fare, but it seems like I make quite a bit of it. The folks at United's deli just make it so easy.
As for the Koolickles, most of the family liked them, but the Kool Aid flavor wasn't as strong as I expected it to be, and the pickles certainly aren't red red red either. Verdict: let them marinate for a couple more days. I bought two more gallons of pickles in preparation for the next batch, and I might try using three Kool Aid packs instead of two for more flavor.