Mini Monte Cristos.

When I first met the (future) Husby, he wasn’t very much into sports.  Sure, he watched the occasional baseball game, and since, we’ve both become pretty big baseball fans… Living so close to Wrigley Field will do that to you.   But I was always glad to not have to devote 16 Sundays sitting on the couch watch grown men in tights run around trying to catch an oddly shaped ball.

But this season?  The football-loving trait that all men must possess was sparked.  We’ve spent many a Sunday afternoon (or Monday night) in front of the TV (I, with my laptop, of course).  I even attended my first Chicago Bears game, sans the Husby no less.  But really, I don’t care so much about football itself… It’s all about the food that goes along with it!

I found these while browsing on Pinterest (during a football game, ha!), and immediately put them on my ‘to-make’ list.  So on Sunday, that’s exactly what I did.  I was a little bit nervous about the possibility of burning the house down since I’d never deep fried anything before but I tossed caution to the wind since I was more excited to pop these little bites into my mouth.

They.  Were.  Awesome!  I don’t own a candy/oil thermometer so I wasn’t sure how hot to heat the oil.  It took a little bit of trial and error (my first few pieces were burnt in seconds), but I finally got the hang of it and churned out some pretty amazing little bites.  I made way too many since it was just the two of us (the Fruitaholic is still on a hunger strike), but I will definitely be making these for future game days!

Mini Monte Cristos – found on Pinterest and slightly adapted from Crisco.com

  • 6 Slices Bread (white is recommended, I used multi-grain)
  • Mustard (I used Trader Joe’s Sweet and Hot Honey Mustard)
  • 6 Slices Ham, thinly sliced
  • 6 Slices Turkey, thinly sliced
  • 6 Sliced Swiss Cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk Pancake Mix
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Can Evaporated Milk (I used a substitute of 2/3 Cup Dry Milk and 3/4 Cup Water)
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
  • Vegetable Oil, for frying
  • Raspberry Jam, for serving
  • Powdered Sugar, for topping

Trim the crust off each slice of bread and flatten with a rolling pin.  Spread the tops with mustard.  Layer 1 slice ham, 1 slice turkey and 1 slice swiss cheese, to fit.

Roll bread tightly into a log shape, using plastic wrap to assist in rolling.  Wrap very tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Mix together pancake mix and eggs until combined.  Add the evaporated milk, salt and cinnamon and mix well.

Heat 1 1/2 inches of oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat (if you have a candy/oil thermometer, heat oil to 375.  Unwrap each roll and secure with 3-4 toothpicks.  Using a serrated knife, slice each roll into 3-4 pieces, leaving the toothpicks intact.

Dip each piece into the batter.  To test the temperature of your oil, drop a small amount of batter into the saucepan.  Adjust the temperature as necessary so that your batter drop becomes golden brown within 20-30 seconds.  Fry a few pieces at a time, turning frequently, about 1 to 2 minutes until deep golden brown.

Transfer fried bites to a paper towel lined plate.  Serve immediately or keep warm in a 175 degree oven.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with raspberry jam, for dipping.

** These can be made a day in advance.  Prepare and fry as directed.  Allow to cool, then cover and refrigerate.  Reheat the next day in a single layer on a baking sheet in a 425 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes.**

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