We used to be big fans of a show called Down Home with the Neeleys. They did some unique tricks, all good, and all with a BBQ flair. I’ve made several things that they aired on TV, and one yummy one that I’ve never shared is a Memphis Monte Cristo. You can view it on their site, but I’m sharing it below for your convenience. It’s your typical Monte Cristo, but BBQ’d up a little. And, not only is it GOOD, it’s very economical, and it’s quick!
The final product, ready to be attacked!
Basically you assemble, dunk in the egg/cream mixture (and oh yeah, a little cayenne), brown in skillet, then place on rack, like this, so the gouda can get deliciously melty:
Five minutes, and ring that dinner bell! Hope you enjoy as my family has, and thank you Lord for the rain!!!
Memphis Monte Cristo
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp sugar
dash of salt (who measures salt??)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to your liking
1/4 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
8 slices white sandwich bread (not thin bread)
8 thin slices deli smoked Gouda cheese
8 thin slices deli smoked ham
8 thin slices deli smoked turkey
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a large skillet or griddle pan with vegetable oil.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, sugar, salt and cayenne until blended.
Spread some BBQ sauce on each slice of bread. On 4 slices of bread, add 1 slice each of the cheese and meats, then repeat layers. Top with the other piece of bread and press the sandwiches together with your hands. Dip into wet batter and turn to coat.
Add the battered sandwiches to the hot griddle and cook until golden brown on each side (doesn’t take long.) Place on rack-lined sheet tray (see above). Place in oven and bake until cheese melts, about 5 minutes. Remove to cutting board and slice. (you could cut in triangles and this would be a good appetizer)
Pretty fancy title, huh? It might sound fancy, but it’s super easy to make. I found this recipe in the March issue of Southern Living and I’m not sure if it’s on their website, so I’ll share it here (plus of course, I made a couple of small edits). The hub was a little dubious, but he said it’s a keeper.
I had never made anything with puff pastry, but it was a snap. It did look a little funny when it came out of the oven, but this is normal:
As it cooked this delectable dish just got better:
This was the final product, and it didn’t last long. I’ll share the recipe below, and it can be a quick weeknight meal if you either cook the chicken beforehand, or go the rotisserie option at your local grocery store.
Creamy Chicken & Bacon with Herbed Puff Pastry
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or a rotisserie chicken)
3 cups chicken stock (2.5 cups if using rotisserie)
Salt & pepper
1 frozen puff pastry sheet, thawed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 pkg frozen petite peas
4 bacon slices
3 tbsp butter
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup diagonally sliced celery (1/4 inch slices, about 1 large stalk)
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup shredded or small cubed fontina cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. If using chicken breasts, place chicken, stock and 1/2 tsp salt in large saucepan, bring to boil over high. Reduce to medium-low; cover and cook until chick is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand about 20 minutes. Remove chicken from stock and coarsely shred, saving 2 1/2 cups stock. If you’re using rotisserie, skip this step.
- Place puff pastry sheet on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cut pastry sheet into 4 squares, separate squares. Brush lightly with egg, and sprinkle with pepper and dried parsley. Baked on oven rack until puffed and golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes.
- Cook peas according to package, keep warm
- Cook bacon in large skillet, remove when crisp and crumble. Add butter to hot bacon drippings and let butter melt, about 1 minute. Add onion & celery, cook, stirring often until onion is tender and celery is tender-crisp. About a minute before it’s ready, add a clove of minced garlic, stir and don’t let the garlic burn. Add flour, and cook, stirring constantly about 1 minute. Stir in cream and reserved 2 1/2 cups stock, bring to a simmer, stirring often. Stir in peas, cheese, chicken, bacon and 1/2 tsp salt. Reduce to medium low and cook until thickened and thoroughly heated.
- Divide mixture amount 4 shallow bowls and top with puff pastry. Amazing!