REAL STORIES
BY REAL PEOPLE Search
Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Grilled-Cheese Monte Cristo & Tomato-Strawberry Jam

by HomeRearedChef (writer), San Jose, November 13, 2012

Credit:
This is a picture of the finished sandwich.

What exactly does one do with the last of the garden tomatoes picked? Why, try making tomato jam, with the addition of sweet, ripe strawberries, that’s what!

Grilled-cheese Monte Cristo came to mind when I picked and weighed in the last few good-looking heirloom tomatoes I gathered from my garden. Add a worthy spread of sweet, home-made tomato-strawberry jam between two slices of bread (such as Challah or egg bread), add a layer or two of ham and tender turkey, and then grill in butter to a delicious golden. Finish this delectable sandwich with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, cinnamon and cocoa.

Yum! Double yum!!

Talk about indulging your taste-buds and in one bite having your salt n’ sweet together.... Drool! This is an explosion of flavors in one mouthful; a must-try experience. Your taste-buds will do a Happy Dance.

When very dear old friends from Seattle, Washington dropped in for a visit, friends that have sampled over the years so many of our delectable home creations, what could I possibly give them that is new under the moon and sun? Why, this grilled-cheese Monte Cristo sandwich, smeared with a worthy spread of jam made with homegrown heirloom tomatoes and the sweetest strawberries I could get my hands on at the market, that’s what!

Come; take a comfortable seat at our cozy table. Dinner is served!

This jam recipe makes about 6 cups after cooking.

Sandwich recipe is for 2 hearty sandwiches.

STEPS 1 (making jam):

2½ pounds fresh [ripe but firm and meaty] tomatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks (do not seed tomatoes, they add character)

2½ pounds fresh [ripe] strawberries, husked and cut in half

1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

Zest of 1 lemon

Peel from 1 orange, cut into thin strips

Juice from 1 orange

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup tawny port wine

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 cinnamon stick

Into a large and deep heavy-bottomed pot add all ingredients and bring to a quick boil.

Reduce heat but keep an obvious simmer going (a light boil), and cook (stirring once-in-a-while to keep from burning/sticking) for about 2½ hours, more or less as needed, until it is thick and just begins to gather (makes a path when stirred). Turn off heat, take off the burner, and allow the jam to cool completely before putting away.

Jam will keep in the fridge, tightly covered, for 3-4 weeks (and sometimes longer).

Note: If you are into canning, follow your preferred instructions for this method.

STEPS 2 (putting sandwiches together):

4 slices egg-bread (Challah or egg bread)

Dijon mustard

4 [thin] turkey slices

4 [thin] ham slices

2 slices Swiss cheese (we used Jarlsberg)

2 slices Muenster cheese

2 [thin] slices creamy Havarti cheese

Prepared tomato strawberry jam

Butter (about 1½ teaspoons of butter per side of bread)

Powdered sugar, sifted

Ground cinnamon (optional)

Chocolate powder (optional)

  • Spread mustard on two slices of bread
  • Begin layering each slice of bread with: 1 Swiss cheese, 2 ham slices, 1 Muenster slice, 2 turkey slices, 1 Havarti slice
  • Spread [already prepared] tomato strawberry jam on the 2 remaining bread slices and close sandwich
  • Carefully and generously butter one side of each sandwich. Place buttered side down on a heated skillet (heated on medium-low) and slowly cook to a light crispy golden-brown
  • While you wait for the first side to brown, generously butter the other side of bread that is up
  • Very carefully flip the sandwich and cook the other side to a crispy golden-brown to match the first side, and making sure the cheeses have melted
  • Take off the griddle and sprinkle desired amount of powdered sugar and cinnamon and/or unsweetened cocoa powder

Serve these sandwiches immediately, and enjoy! I know that our friends of over 30 years, Steve and Libby, enjoyed them, and did manage to eat every bite, even cleaning-up every crumb. These kinds of friends, good eaters, appreciative of great food, are keepers for life!

Cook with heart; eat with gusto. Buen Provecho!



About the Writer

HomeRearedChef is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
Want to write articles too? Sign up & become a writer!

8 comments on Grilled-Cheese Monte Cristo & Tomato-Strawberry Jam

Log In To Vote   Score: 1
By Barbara MacDonald on November 13, 2012 at 02:06 pm

Lord have mercy...lol...you are going to make me plump!!! Nah, but I am loving your recipes Virginia...this sounds sinful,almost like desert...((licks lips)) ...thank you again...copied and pasted...

pss...when can I come for dinner?? :-)

yes, I see the picture worked...very good...is nicer actually seeing the real creation...

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 2
By melanie jean juneau on November 13, 2012 at 02:11 pm

WOW- You are so creative int the kitchen, Virginia. Only passion for food and cooking can create what you do. AND You must move in and through Him as well. I bet many ideas that pop into your head come from the Spirit.

Your passion and love well up from your writing stlye and your photos as well. PERFECTLY Executed.

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 2
By HomeRearedChef on November 13, 2012 at 03:00 pm

Well, Barbara, my doors are always open; family and friends can drop in anytime (and have on many occasions), and hubby and I will always have enough to share. I am fixing a place for you as we speak. :)

(Now we'll see if my next article will let me add a picture. lol!)

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 2
By HomeRearedChef on November 13, 2012 at 03:01 pm

Melanie, WOW!, you are so sweet. Thank you for your most kind and generous words. And I just realized that I am sitting here smiling! :)

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 1
By souschef on November 13, 2012 at 11:47 pm

I usually think of Monte Cristo's as something special. And by that I mean you aren't going to do much to improve them.

You did it. That Tomato-Strawberry Jam addition is literally the icing on the cake.

Definitely a WOW!

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 1
By HomeRearedChef on November 14, 2012 at 12:32 am

Ooh, what a lovely compliment to my recipe, Souschef. Thanks!!!

The Monte Cristos I've had over the years have been dipped in batter, which I REALLY loved. But I also am very fond of grilled cheese sandwiches, so this was really a wonderful idea to have done.

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 2
By Uttam Gill on November 14, 2012 at 08:43 am

“Home-made tomato-strawberry jam between two slices of bread (such as Challah or egg bread), add a layer or two of ham and tender turkey, and then grill in butter to a delicious golden. Finish this delectable sandwich with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, cinnamon and cocoa”…so appetizing… Gourmet sense makes my tongue tingle with renewed hunger to enjoy every delicacy which you so passionately present here in your article…Virginia amazing you are…

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 1
By HomeRearedChef on November 14, 2012 at 09:53 am

Thank you so much, Uttam! I guess it is obvious I love to cook, though that wasn't always the case. lol!

I have to tell you that your comments are like poetry, I can eat them up. :)

 Report abuse



Add A Comment!

Click here to signup or login.


Rate This Article


Your vote matters to us



x


x