Monte Cristo Sandwich


  • 1 quart oil for frying, or as needed
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 slices white bread
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  • 4 slices turkey
  • 4 slices ham
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar for dusting


  1. Heat 5 inches of oil in a deep-fryer to 360F.
  2. While oil is heating, make the batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg and water.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper; whisk into the egg mixture until smooth.
  4. Set aside in the refrigerator.
  5. Assemble sandwiches by placing one slice of turkey on one slice of bread, a slice of ham on another, then sandwich them with the Swiss cheese in the middle.
  6. Cut sandwiches into quarters, and secure with toothpicks.
  7. Dip each sandwich quarter in the batter so that all sides are coated.
  8. Deep fry in the hot oil until golden brown on all sides. Remove toothpicks and arrange on a serving tray.
  9. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.



Chicken Cordon Bleu-ish Grilled Sandwich


  • 2 slices bread
  • 2 tablespoons margarine, divided
  • 2 slices Swiss cheese
  • 1 cooked chicken breast half
  • 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
  • 2 slices honey-cured deli ham


  1. Spread one side of each slice of bread with margarine, and place a bread slice, margarine-side down, into a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  2. Place a slice of Swiss cheese, the cooked chicken breast, a layer of barbecue sauce, the ham slices, and the remaining Swiss cheese slice onto the bread slice in the skillet. Top the sandwich with the other bread slice, margarine-side up.
  3. Gently fry the sandwich, flipping once, until the cheese is melted and gooey, and the bread is golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.



Grilled Turkey Florentine Sandwich

  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach
  • 4 slices peppered bacon, cooked
  • 4 ounces turkey breast, sliced (I like to use leftover roasted turkey!)
  • 4 slices provolone cheese
  • 4 slices buttermilk bread
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • butter for spreading on bread
  1. In a small skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-low heat. Add mushrooms and saute until tender and slightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  2. Spread butter evenly on one side of each bread slice and sprinkle evenly with garlic powder.
  3. Layer one slice of cheese on the unbuttered side of 2 bread slices, then add the turkey, mushrooms, spinach, and bacon, dividing ingredients evenly between both sandwiches. Top each sandwich with remaining cheese slices and the bread, leaving buttered side out.
  4. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet and carefully transfer sandwiches to skillet. Grill sandwiches on both sides until cheese is melted, spinach is slightly wilted, and bread is toasted to golden-brown. Slice sandwich in half and serve immediately.


Grilled Broccoli & Cheese

  • 1 cup frozen broccoli florets
  • 1/16 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch salt & pepper
  • hearty bread
  • 1 oz. cream cheese
  • ¼ cup shredded mozzarella
  1. Place the broccoli florets in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high until warm (about 90 seconds). Season the broccoli with a pinch of salt and pepper and about 1/16th teaspoon of garlic powder. Stir to combine.
  2. Spread the cream cheese over the inside surface of both slices of bread. Add the shredded cheese to the bowl with the broccoli and stir to combine. Pile the broccoli and cheese mixture onto one of the slices of bread and place the other slice on top.
  3. Place the sandwich in a non-stick skillet and cook over medium-low heat until the bread is crispy on the bottom. Flip the sandwich and cook on the second side until brown as crispy on the other side. If the cheese filling has not melted by this time, place a lid over the skillet to help hold in the heat until the interior is melted.


The Ultimate Lobster, Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, and Tomato Sandwiches


serves Makes 2 large sandwiches, serving 2 or 4, active time 1 hour, total time 1 hour

  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 2 small lobsters (about 1 pound each)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons mayonaise
  • 2 teaspoons fresh juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons finely sliced chives
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound thick-cut bacon
  • 2 small loaves ciabatta, split in half horizontally
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 4 iceberg lettuce leaves, crisp white/pale yellow parts only


  1. For the Tomatoes: Bring a large pot of water that can fit a steamer attachment to a boil. Cut a small X in the bottom of each tomato. Place tomatoes in water and cook for 30 seconds, then immediately transfer to a bowl of cold water. Set aside. Pour off all but 1 inch of water from Dutch oven and add steamer insert. Cover and keep hot.
  2. For the Lobster: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Meanwhile, kill each lobster by pressing the tip of a heavy chef’s knife in the crack just behind the eyes in the center of the carapace. Press down firmly, then split head in half. Using kitchen towels, twist off tail and claws (including knuckles) from carapace. Save carapace for another use.
  3. Place lobster claws and tails in steamer insert. Cover and steam for exactly 2 minutes, then transfer lobster to a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet (lobsters may still be twitching slightly—this is a reflex reaction. Don’t worry, they are dead). Repeat with remaining lobster. Transfer to oven and roast until claws reach 135°F in the center as measured on an instant-read thermometer, about 7 minutes. Remove claws and set aside on large plate. Continue roasting until tails reach 135°F in center, 7 to 15 minutes longer (depending on exact shape of tails). Remove from oven and transfer to a bowl of cold water.
  4. When cold, shuck lobster meat. Roughly chop, drain on paper towels, then transfer to a large bowl. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (to taste), lemon juice, and chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep lobster salad refrigerated until ready to use.
  5. For the Bacon: Lay bacon slices on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, allowing each slice to overlap slight lengthwise to form a solid sheet of bacon. Transfer to oven and cook until crisp, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Preheat broiler to high.
  6. While bacon cooks, peel tomatoes (the skins should slip off). Split each tomato into quarter, then using a sharp chef’s knife, remove the inner flesh and seeds to form 8 tomato filets. Set aside.
  7. Transfer bacon sheet to a cutting board, reserving fat separate. Cut bacon sheet into large pieces that just fit the bread. Set aside.
  8. Spread cut surface of each piece of bread with 1 teaspoon rendered bacon fat. Broil cut-side-up until well-browned.
  9. To Assemble: Spread mayonnaise to taste on each bottom bread half. Arrange avocado slices on top. Arrange bacon sheet on top of avocado. Add tomato filets. Spread mayonnaise to taste on the top of each bread half. Add lettuce leaves. Press lobster salad into lettuce leaves, compressing bread slightly. Close sandwiches. Cut in half, and serve.


Patty Melt

Patty Melt
Makes 2 sandwiches

It’s important to use rye bread with caraway seeds (called Jewish rye, in the United States.) Those little savory seeds add a distinct, yet critical flavor to the sandwich.

  • 2 onions (about 1 pound / 450g)
  • 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 – 14 ounces (350g) ground beef
  • 4 slices Swiss-style cheese, such as Emmenthal
  • 4 slices Jewish rye bread

Additional softened butter for the bread and frying the sandwiches

1. Peel and slice the onions. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, season them with salt and pepper, and cook them – stirring frequently – until soft, wilted, and golden brown. It should take about 15 minutes. If using a non-stick skillet, you may need to add the additional tablespoon of butter. Set aside.

2. Season the ground beef with salt and pepper and shape into two oval patties about the size of the slices of bread you’ll be using. In a separate pan, fry the beef patties until done a little less than your liking.

3. Butter one side of each slice of bread, then flip them over so the butter side is down, and lay a slice of cheese over each slice of bread. Spread some of the cooked onions over two cheese-covered slices of the bread, top them with a beef patty, then flip the remaining two slices of cheese-covered bread over the beef patties and press down with enough pressure to “meld” the fillings.

4. Heat some butter in a skillet (preferably cast-iron) or a grill pan over medium heat and slide the two sandwiches in. Once the underside of the sandwiches are grilled to your liking – which will take a few minutes, use a spatula to carefully flip the two sandwiches.

5. Continue to cook the sandwiches so the other side gets grilled. You may want to press the sandwiches down while they are heating to compress them, which makes them easier to handle and eat. Don’t worry about any of the burger juices running out; any that do will get absorbed by the bread and will be delicious.

(And if the cheese isn’t melting quickly, cover the pan with a lid, to encourage the cheese to melt.)

When the sandwiches are ready, slide them onto a cutting board, slice them in half, and serve.



Surf N’ Turf Burger


serves serves 4, active time 1 hour, total time 1 hour

  • 1/2 pound cooked lobster meat, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, plus more for assembling
  • 1 teaspoon juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 20 ounces freshly ground beef, divided into four 5-ounce patties
  • 4 toasted hamburger buns
  • 4 slices tomato
  • 4 leaves green leaf lettuce
  • 8 slices crisply cooked bacon


  1. Combine lobster, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and chives in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. When ready to serve, season burger patties generously with salt and pepper and cook burgers to desired doneness on a hot grill or in a skillet on the stovetop, 125°F for medium rare or 135°F for medium, topping with cheese for last minute of cooking. Let burger patties rest for 5 minutes off heat.
  3. Top bottom buns with mayonnaise, tomato, and lettuce. Top with burger patty, then divide lobster salad mixture evenly between burgers. Top each burger with 2 slices bacon. Close burgers and serve immediately.


Spicy Buffalo Chicken Burgers


serves Makes 4 (6 ounce) burgers, active time 20 minutes, total time 50 minutes

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup plain fresh breadcrumbs (see note above)
  • 24 ounces ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce (such as Tabasco), divided
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped (about 2/3 cup)
  • Iceberg lettuce for garnish, optional
  • Tomato for garnish, optional


  1. Stir milk and salt into bread crumbs in a medium bowl to moisten. Add chicken, 1/4 cup hot sauce, and butter, and mix gently with fingers until just combined (don’t overmix). Chill until slightly firm, about 30 minutes. Shape into four patties that are just wider than the buns.
  2. Stir blue cheese into mayonnaise; chill until ready to serve. Heat 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add patties and cook until cooked through (155&degF), about 3 to 4 minutes per side, basting the second side with the remaining hot sauce as they cook. Transfer to a plate and wipe out skillet with paper towel.
  3. Return skillet to heat and toast the flat sides of the buns in the empty pan. Serve the burgers with the blue cheese mayo, sprinkle with the chopped celery, and lettuce and tomato if desired.



Smoky Spicy Sloppy Joes

1 1/2 lb lean ground beef
6 oz tomato paste
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup bourbon
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, finely grated
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
smokehouse black pepper (to taste)

shredded sharp cheddar (optional-for sprinkling)

In a large saucepan, saute the garlic, onion and carrot in olive oil until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add ground beef and saute until brown, stirring to break up the meat. Add water, bourbon, tomato paste, and all of the spices. Simmer, stirring occasionally 20-30 minutes until thickened. Serve on buns and sprinkle with cheese.

Yield: about 6 serving


Not Another Boring Cola Roast

The Ingredients.
serves 6 (if you shred the meat and serve in sandwiches, you can feed 8-10)
4 pound pork roast (bone in or out; I’ve used both pork tenderloin and a shoulder/butt)
1 (7-ounce) can fire roasted diced green chiles
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper (remember, the canned chipotles in adobo are not gluten free)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup cola
The Directions.
Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Place the meat into the bottom of your cooker. In a small mixing bowl, combine the chiles, tomato paste, cumin, garlic powder, chili pepper, sugar, and salt. Stir to create a paste, and then smear this mixture on all sides of your meat. If you have time to do so, you can marinate your meat in this mixture overnight (in a sealed plastic bag or tupperware; it’s not recommended to refrigerate the stoneware and then cook in it).
Pour in cola.
Cover, and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until pork has relaxed and begun to fall apart. If you used pork tenderloin, slice thinly and serve over rice or mashed potatoes. If you opted for a shoulder roast, shred completely using two large forks.