The parks are closed, but that can't keep us from bringing theme park magic into your home. To help keep Theme Park Insiders connected to the magic, I'm starting a new feature today — Social Distancing Kitchen, in which I will show you how to make some of your favorite theme park dishes at home.
We start today with Disneyland's classic Monte Cristo. This is the official recipe from Disney and makes four sandwiches, though a half sandwich might be enough for one serving. They're filling!
1 3/4 cups water
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 t salt
1 t baking powder
8 slices challah or sourdough bread
8 slices ham
8 slices turkey
8 slices Swiss cheese
3 cups canola oil
Fruit preserves (I use Knott's "Berry Market" Boysenberry preserves, in the spirit of theme park solidarity)
Heat the oil in skillet to 375F. Be careful to leave enough room so that the oil will not spill over when you add the sandwiches to fry.
Whisk the egg and water together in a large mixing bowl, adding the flour, salt, and baking powder. Whip to smooth and bubbly - about three minutes.
Place a slice of ham, a slice of turkey, and a slice of cheese on a slice of bread, topping with a second slice of bread. Cut the sandwich diagonally.
Dip a sandwich half into the batter then place it carefully in the oil, taking care not to splatter the hot oil. Then place a second sandwich half if you have room. Turn up the burner to keep the oil temperature up, as it will drop significantly when you add the sandwiches.
Fry for about three minutes on each side, until golden brown.
Drain sandwiches on paper towel-lined plate and allow to cool. Once you can touch them, dust lightly with powdered sugar and serve with preserves.
A very skeptical Laurie held the camera while I did the video above, but even she agreed to try one of the sandwich halves after I finished. And she declared the Social Distancing Kitchen Monte Cristo delicious. See, theme park magic really can happen at home!
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Also on Theme Park Insider's Social Distancing Kitchen:
Brilliant! I've never had one, but I may just try your recipe. Thanks for keeping the ball rolling during these trying times. - Rod
I visit this site everyday, but I never comment... I just wanted to say - THANK YOU.
You give us the most amazing articles on the best of days... And then like today, when times are a little more uncertain you bring us this... I can’t cook-won’t cook.. lol... but I really appreciate your hard work and look forward to every post and them few minutes of escaping to read about my passion.
That looks so good, Robert! And it doesn't look too hard. Thanks for sharing the recipe and making the video - and talking about the actual sandwich. It was an entertaining watch!
What do you do with all of the oil after you've deep fried the sandwich?
That oil's getting used for another dish you're gonna see later this week!
Theme parks really, really like to deep-fry stuff, don't they?
And thank you for the kind words, everyone.
I’ve never had this before but I just might have to try and make it sometime! Thanks Robert for all of your amazing content and rolling with the punches to continue the content in these unprecedented times! I also check this site almost daily to escape for a few moments into my favorite “Fantasy Land” (couldn’t resist) which is theme parks and it’s more important now than ever... THANK YOU :)
Thanks for this. It reminded me of my first trip to the Blue Bayou with my friends, and gave me a reason to share it with them, too!
Robert- GREAT idea for a 'lock-down' episode. I'll definitely try this. Thanks for finding such creative ways to keep the theme park magic percolating!
Awesome! How can we help blow this up?
Share, share, share! Hit those Facebook and Twitter links and just tell people you know, too.
By the way, new episodes are coming Wednesday and Friday this week.
I just posted how to make Tonga Toast!
Benigan's used to sell the monte cristo. It was the exact same as Disney's. I don't think Benigans exists anymore.
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Nice! I love a Monte Cristo. They’re pretty unheard of, here in the U.K. and anytime I’ve tried explaining it, nobody gets the concept! Brits need to broaden their horizons, lol.