Recipe: Twisted Monte Cristo inspires crowd with melted cheese, sweet onion jam, by Adam Romo |

Recipe: Twisted Monte Cristo inspires crowd with melted cheese, sweet onion jam, by Adam Romo

Adam Romo
Adam Romo
Craig L. Marshall

I’ve sampled many variations of the Monte Cristo sandwich, but I couldn’t find one that really stuck with me. So using some traditional elements and adding a few new twists, I created the Twisted Monte Cristo, which has quickly become a favorite dish at the Cracker Box. A key ingredient is the Bacon Sweet Onion Jam.

To make the sandwich you’ll need:

Sliced Brioche (or the white bread of your choice)

French Toast batter (whisk a few eggs with a dash of cinnamon and a couple of drops of vanilla extract)

Shaved ham

Swiss cheese

Sliced pineapple (optional)

Sweet onion jam (recipe below)

Dip the bread in the French toast batter and cook over medium heat in a buttered skillet. When the bread is toasty and the batter is cooked turn the slices over. Add cheese to one half and the bacon onion jam to the other then top one half with the shaved ham, put the halves together to make a sandwich and continue to cook until the cheese is melted and gooey. Top with pineapple if you like and enjoy.

Bacon sweet onion jam

2 lbs. Hardwood Smoke bacon

4 large sweet onions, cut lengthwise

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 Chipotle pepper, minced

1½ cups apple cider vinegar

3 cups apple cider

½ cup maple syrup

½ cup brewed coffee

¾ cup brown sugar, packed

Zest from ½ orange

Salt to taste

Chop back and cook in 2 quart pot over medium heat until fat is render and bacon is crisp. Remove from pot and spoon out excess fat leaving about 2 tablespoons. Slice onions lengthwise and add to pot, cooking on low heat and stirring constantly until they begin to caramelize. Return bacon to the put with the onions. Deglaze pot with vinegar, making sure to scrape all the goodness and brown bits from the bottom and reduce by half. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer for 1½ to 2 hours. Refrigerate until completely cool.

Adam Romo joined the Cracker Box team in 2004 and enjoys tinkering with his cars and playing bass in his band.