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Fare ye well, Monte Cristo

There are few things in this world that I love more than a Monte Cristo sandwich from Bennigans (chased with a Death By Chocolate dessert...oh, how my stomach rumbles as I write these words). Due to constant calorie counting over the past 10 years, however, it's been a long time since I surrendered to such decadence. Maybe too long, since I read this morning that all company-owned Bennigans and Steak & Ale restaurants have closed.

WHAT? Can you just close a restaurant chain without warning? (The article does state that franchisee-owned restaurants are remaining in operation, so I will be driving by my local Bennigans later today to check it out.)

Take heart, greasy-gooey sandwich lovers. There are a number of recipes online for the Monte Cristo sandwich, and the one below got good ratings on (Interestingly, if you click this link and go to "print this" the nutrition information appears. It's not health food, but it's not as bad as I'd imagined -- what my friends at KidsHealth would call "Whoa" food.)

If you're like me, making it yourself is never as enjoyable as having it served to you by a perky teenager in suspenders, but this will have to do. I'm thinking that substituting beer for the water might make this even yummier, but however you alter this recipe, don't forget the crucial powdered sugar on top and raspberry jam for dipping!

Because I have to shimmy into a lovely little silk birdesmaid dress in less than two months, I will most likely not be making this delicacy for myself any time soon. So please let me know if you try it, and how it compares to the real thing.

Bennigan's Monte Cristo Sandwich

Makes 3 sandwiches


9 slices whole wheat bread
3 slices cooked turkey
3 slices cooked ham
3 slices American cheese
3 slices swiss cheese

1 egg
1-1 1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
vegetable oil (for deep frying)

1. Place turkey and Swiss cheese on one slice of bread and ham and American cheese on another slice of bread.
2. Place third slice in-between and secure the triple-decker sandwich in the corners with tooth picks.
3. Place egg in mixing bowl, add water and beat together.
4. Add salt, sugar, flour, and baking powder. Beat batter until smooth.
5. Dip sandwich in batter and carefully cover all the sides and surface.
6. Carefully place in hot oil and fry until golden.
7. When sandwich has turned a warm gold color remove from hot oil and place on paper towel.
8. Let cool for a few minutes before removing the toothpicks.
9. Before serving slice into fourths and sprinkle with powder sugar.
10. Serve with Raspberry jam.

* a day in the office surrounded by grown-ups. Who talk about really smart topics, like who's a better dancer, Turbo or Ozone, in Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo.

* Big Daddy's sales meeting is finally over -- so we're a happy threesome once more.

* that I shouldn't be alarmed, really, when my child tells me he wants to give me a tongue kiss. Cuz it's really just a lick. Which is gross, but infinitely less gross than it could have been.


  1. I know, the news about Bennigans is shocking! My sandwich of choice was the Turkey O'Toole, and I just can't believe I might never (sniff) have another (sniff) turkey sandwich on a big ole soft pretzel.


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