"Two cheeses, two types of meat, brown sugar and maple syrup?"
As a great lover of sandwiches, I keep many near and dear to my heart. The turkey club with its three slices of toasted white bread topped with mayo, salty bacon, and roasted turkey. The reuben with its creamy Russian dressing and tangy kraut. The simple grilled cheese and tomato. I could go on and on.
I am pleased to introduce the newest inductee to my personal sandwich hall-of fame. Drum roll, please. The Vermont Croque Monsieur from Tracey Medeiros's Dishing Up Vermont is about as close to sandwich perfection as you can get.
Slices of raisin nut bread are dipped into a cinnamon-nutmeg batter and fried to French toast perfection. Sounds pretty good, right? But wait, there's more! Roasted turkey, smoked ham, and Gouda goes in between the two slices. Hold on, it gets even better! A spread of maple-scented mascarpone—studded with chopped chives—keeps everything together. The whole thing is toasted in the oven until the cheese melts, the mascarpone oozes, and the French toast has just the slightest hint of crunch.
I made this sandwich as a late-night snack and was a bit skeptical upon first looking at the ingredients. Two cheeses, two types of meat, brown sugar and maple syrup? It seemed excessive but the first bite was a revelation. The flavors balanced absolutely perfectly (not too sweet or salty) and for all of the cheese involved, the sandwich had a mysterious lightness.
I ate two in rapid succession and am looking forward to another for breakfast tomorrow. Vermont Croque Monsieur, I salute you.
Win 'Dishing Up Vermont'
As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Dushing Up Vermont to give away this week.
- Yield:1 sandwich
- 1 teaspoon pure Vermont maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon chopped chives
- 2 tablespoon mascarpone cheese
- 2 eggs
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 slices maple cinnamon raisin bread
- Unsalted butter
- 2 ounces roasted turkey breast, sliced
- 2 ounces smoked and cured ham, sliced
- 2 ounces Gouda cheese, shredded
Mix together maple syrup, chives, and mascarpone in a small bowl. Preheat oven to 325°F.
Whisk together the eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Dip the bread into the egg mixture until well soaked and shake gently to remove excess.
Melt a pat of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bread and cook until golden brown on each side. Remove the bread from pan and spread the mascarpone mixture over one slice. Layer turkey, ham, and Gouda over mascarpone. Top with the second slice of bread and bake until warmed through and the cheese has melted.