Monte Cristo Sandwiches

These sweet and savory sandwiches remind me of a restaurant that used to be in Austin called Bombay Bicycle Club.  It was a special place we’d go for birthdays and I’m pretty sure that I almost always ordered the monte cristo.  Theirs was full of meat and cheese, deep fried, covered in powered sugar and served with a side of raspberry preserves.  And I think it came with fries.  And I probably had a hot fudge sundae for dessert.  This was back in the days of high metabolism.  Those were good days.


When a post came up on the King Arthur Flour blog the other day about croque monsieurs and monte cristos I immediately added the ingredients to my grocery list.

I usually buy groceries a few days in advance, and sometimes (when Ben does the grocery shopping for me on Sunday afternoons) I will have groceries for the entire week of meals and not need to go to the store.  The only problem with this is that sometimes I get to the day I had planned to make such-and-such for dinner and I don’t want to make it.  That happened with this meal.  It just seemed like more work than I wanted to put in to dinner that night.  But in the end it was a really quick meal with less mess than I’d anticipated and more deliciousness.

I found this incredible brioche loaf at Whole Foods (set me back $8 but was totally worth it).


You can use any bread you like, but a soft white is pretty wonderful since it really soaks up the egg.  These are triple-decker sandwiches, turkey and ham on one half and Emmentaler swiss on the other.



If you’re using thick bread slices you may want to smoosh the sandwich a bit with your hand.


After assembling the sandwiches you dredge both sides in a mix of egg and milk.


And then cook them until golden brown.


After cooking, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve up with a side of raspberry preserves for dipping.



If you’re making more than 2 sandwiches just increase the amount of bread, meat and cheese.  The egg is enough for probably 4 sandwiches.  Set your oven to 200°F and put the finished sandwiches on a cookie sheet lined with foil while you cook the rest of the sandwiches.  They won’t have the great crunch they do when they’re fresh, but at least they’ll be warm.  To make sure your sandwiches are heated through and that the cheese gets perfectly melted, take the meat and cheese out of the fridge for 20 minutes before cooking so that it’s not cold when it goes into the pan and keep the heat medium-low so that the outside doesn’t cook too much before the center is warm.  Enjoy!

Monte Cristo Sandwiches

Makes 2 sandwiches


  • 6 slices of good white bread
  • 4 slices of ham
  • 4 slices of turkey
  • 2-4 slices of swiss cheese (depending on the size of your bread and how cheesy and delicious you’d like your sandwich to be)
  • butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • powdered sugar
  • raspberry preserves


  1. Heat skillet over medium-low heat.
  2. Arrange meats on bottom layer of bread, top with a slice of buttered bread, top with a slice or 2 of cheese.  Repeat with other sandwich.  If your bread is thick, press the sandwich down with your hand to flatten it slightly.
  3. Whisk egg and milk together in a pie plate or shallow dish.  Dip both sides of the sandwich in the egg.
  4. Melt a little butter in your pan, then place the sandwiches in the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, making sure it doesn’t get too dark.  If it is cooking too quickly, turn down the heat.
  5. Move sandwiches to a cutting board and slice in half.  Move to plates and sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar.


Greek Turkey Meatloaf

When Ben got home from work and asked what we were having for dinner I am pretty sure that he cringed and rolled his eyes when I said turkey meatloaf.  If it were up to him there would be no turkey burgers, no turkey meatballs, and no turkey meatloaf.  And I get it.  If the name of the food has the word meat in it, then it should be made of meat.  This made me wonder, what is meat, exactly?  I looked into the definition of meat, which is really just any animal flesh that we eat.  But meat is defined more specifically as pork, beef and lamb by the meat packing industry.  Chicken and turkey are grouped in the poultry category.  So today we’re making poulty-loaf…which just doesn’t sound very good.  So, I will keep calling this turkey “meat”loaf.

This was a good meatloaf.  Definitely unique in flavor with the feta and dill.  It wasn’t real juicy, but not at all dry either.  I liked it, and Ben didn’t say that he hated it…

One of the reasons I chose to make this was its built in leftover recipe.  I recently got an iPad (which I still can’t believe I talked myself into thinking I needed) and I have the Martha Stewart Everyday Food mag on it.  This meatloaf recipe uses 1/3 of the leftover meatloaf to make turkey and spinach hand pies.  Usually the only option for leftover meatloaf is meatloaf sandwiches, which are delicious, but it was fun to try something different.  More on those later.

The only changes I made were to use wheat sandwich bread slices (which I soaked in a few tablespoons of milk before mixing them with everything else) and using all 85/15 turkey.

Greek Turkey Meatloaf

From Everyday Food April 2012


  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, diced small
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 large celery stalks, diced small
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 pounds ground 85/15 turkey (or half 93/7 and half 85/15)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 slices white or wheat sandwich bread, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 4 ounces feta, crumbled (1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onion, garlic, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs and milk and let soak for a few minutes.  Add in vegetables, turkey, egg, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Using your hands, mix until combined. Mix in feta and dill.
  3. Transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and form into a 4-by-10-inch loaf. Bake until cooked through, 45 to 55 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing. (To store, cover and refrigerate, up to 3 days.)

Baked Asian Turkey Meatballs with Soy Ginger Sauce

The lovely aroma of fresh ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, scallions and cilantro filled my kitchen when I made these for dinner a few nights ago.  Those ingredients alone make my mouth water.  I am almost always up for Chinese or Thai food, but thinking about how a lot of that stuff is prepared makes me have second thoughts a lot of the time.  It’s usually too oily and greasy and even if I opt for a dish with lots of veggies, it is often soaked in overly salty sauce.  And then I somehow find myself ordering egg rolls, fried spring rolls, or maybe an order of crab rangoon…oh, the deep fried goodness of it all.  These meatballs don’t quite measure up to the pleasures of pad thai and sesame chicken, but the flavors are there, and all without the guilt.

My dinner plans were to make these meatballs from this recent Smitten Kitchen post, Scallion Meatballs with Soy Ginger Glaze.  But after reading through the recipe I decided to look for a baked meatball recipe (instead of pan fried) with more substance that would serve as a meal and not a glorified appetizer.  That search led me to this recipe from Skinny Taste, Asian Turkey Meatballs with Sesame Lime Dipping Sauce.  So I combined the two, and with a little tweaking here and there I wound up with these.

Serve these meatballs with some rice to soak up the delicious sauce.  We ate them with white rice, but brown would be a great choice, and a healthier one.  Simple steamed broccoli is a perfect side dish.  There is so much flavor in the meatballs that you don’t really need anything else.  I used a mixture of turkey and beef because I had an extra 1/2 pound of lean ground beef from another recipe I wanted to use, but use all turkey if you like.  Enjoy!

Baked Asian Turkey Meatballs with Soy Ginger Sauce



  • 1/3 cup panko crumbs
  • 1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tbsp peeled ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tsp sesame oil


  1. Combine ground turkey, beef, panko, egg, salt, scallions, ginger, cilantro, and soy sauce.  Mix with your hands until combined well.
  2. Shape 1/4 cup meat mixture into a ball and transfer to a baking dish. Repeat with remaining mixture.
  3. Bake at 400°F until cooked through, about 20-25 minutes.



  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce, reduced sodium
  • 1/2 cup white wine (or mirin)
  • 1/4 cup peeled ginger, chopped


  1. Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar melts completely.
  2. Reduce heat to a medium-low and add soy sauce, wine and ginger.
  3. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced, 20-30 minutes.  You can simmer it longer to get a thicker sauce.
  4. Serve sauce on top of meatballs and rice.  You can strain the sauce to get rid of the ginger pieces, but I left mine in the sauce.

Barbecue Quesadillas

When it rains it pours when it comes to leftovers in our house.  Last night, for example, we had 3 different choices for dinner using leftovers.  It can get a little boring when its the same meal that’s just been reheated.  Leftovers are a lot more bearable when you can make something new out of them.  This is what I did with some leftover turkey from Rudy’s BBQ.  Mmm.  Rudy’s.

Along with the turkey I had barbecue sauce, tortillas, shredded Mexican blend cheese, half of a red onion, and half of a red bell pepper, all left over from other meals.  Since this was kind of a last minute dinner and I wasn’t sure exactly how it was going to turn out, I didn’t really measure anything.  If you’re not comfortable with that kind of cooking, this is a great way to start.  The best way to get better at cooking without a recipe is to practice.  Just use your judgement and use what you like.  If you have barbecued brisket or chicken instead, then use those.  I used a Mexican blend of shredded cheese, but cheddar, monterey jack, or pepper jack would all work.  If you don’t like onions, don’t use them.  If you like green bells instead, use those.

I’ve learned that when making quesadillas, like pizza, do not overdo it on the fillings (toppings for pizza).  It can be a mess to flip over, and if the filling to crunchy tortilla ratio is off, they aren’t as tasty.  Also, make sure to get your pan hot and use some kind of fat (butter is best in my opinion) even if its just a little bit.  It makes for a much crunchier exterior.  Enjoy!

Barbecue Quesadillas

Serves 3-4


  • 6 flour tortillas
  • 2-4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2-2 cups chopped barbecued turkey (brisket or chicken)
  • 3-5 tablespoons barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 cups shredded cheese
  • sour cream (optional)


  1. Mix the turkey with the barbecue sauce, adding 1 tablespoon at a time until the meat is lightly coated. (Add more if you like.)
  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat.
  3. Lay out half of your tortillas and begin evenly layering cheese, turkey, onions, bell peppers and more cheese.  Top with another tortilla.
  4. Melt some butter (I use between 1/4 and 1/2 tablespoon) in the hot skillet.  Carefully transfer one quesadilla to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes until the bottom is nicely browned.
  5. Spread a little more butter on the top tortilla before flipping, being careful not to let too many toppings escape.
  6. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until the other side is browned and the cheese has melted.  Transfer to a plate.
  7. Repeat with the other quesadillas.  You can keep these warm in a 200°F oven on a cookie sheet.
  8. Cut into quarters and serve with sour cream if desired.

Turkey Sloppy Joes

This is a healthier version of a sloppy joe, but no less sloppy or tasty.  Ground turkey takes the place of ground beef, and the addition of grated carrots and tomatoes makes these more nutritious.  We ate these last night when my friend Carrie and her 3 girls came through Amarillo on their way to Albuquerque.  It pleased the adults and the kiddos.  Thank you Martha Stewart! Here is the link to her recipe.

I made a few slight changes to Martha’s recipe.  I used a full pound of ground turkey, and instead of the 28 ounces of crushed tomatoes I used a can of diced tomatoes and 2 chopped roma tomatoes.  You could easily use just the one can of diced, but consider draining off some or all of the liquid depending on your personal preference.  Carrie and I had a little discussion about the tragedy that befalls tomato paste most of the time…it doesn’t all get used and so it gets tossed.  Use the entire small can and avoid the waste.

I really like sloppy joes.  It makes me feel like a kid to eat them.  These sloppy joes are a great choice for the adult who wants a sloppy joe and wants it to be tasty.  Enjoy, and get sloppy.