Blue Bayou’s Monte Cristo

Of all the delectable offerings served at the restaurant during the last four decades, the most popular item by far is the Blue Bayou Monte Cristo Sandwich.

Menu from Blue Bayou, one of Disneyland's signature restaurants

In the fall 2009 issue of Disney twenty-three, Disney Archivists Becky Cline paid a friendly visit to 31 Royal Street in New Orleans Square at Disneyland to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the park and to sit in the comforting long shadows of the Blue Bayou, one of Disneyland’s signature restaurants. No matter what time of day, for 40 years, shimmering moonbeams have danced across its serene waters while those enjoying this idyllic scene see the mysterious glow of the Delta fireflies in the distance and dine on an array of mouthwatering Cajun/Creole dishes. Of all the delectable offerings served at the restaurant during the last four decades, the most popular item by far is the Blue Bayou Monte Cristo Sandwich. It was available on the original 1967 menu (accompanied by a fresh fruit compote topped with toasted coconut) and is still available at lunch service today. The sandwich has been so popular over the years, with upwards of 200 of them served a day, that a card was printed up for guests who requested the recipe.

Ingredients

1 egg
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons water
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
8 slices egg bread (challah works well), sliced 1/2-inch thick
8 thin slices ham
8 thin slices turkey
8 thin slices Swiss cheese
3 cups canola oil
Confectioners sugar
Blackberry preserves

Preparation

Line a cookie sheet with paper towels; set aside. Whisk the egg and water together in a mixing bowl. Add flour, salt, and baking powder and whisk thoroughly for 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth, scraping sides of bowl. On one slice of bread, arrange 2 slices of ham, turkey, and cheese, covering the bread evenly. Place another slice of bread on top and slice each sandwich in half diagonally.

Heat oil to between 365 degrees F and 375 degrees F in a 10-inch pan. Do not let the oil reach a higher temperature than this; if the oil starts to smoke, turn the heat down. Dip half of the sandwich into the batter, allowing excess to drain, and very carefully place into the oil. Repeat with the other sandwich half. Cook 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Place the cooked sandwich on the prepared cookie sheet in a warm oven until ready to serve. Repeat with the other three sandwiches.

Cook one at a time, and allow the oil to reach the desired temperature between each. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and serve with blackberry preserves on the side.