Last Saturday, while we were trying to come up with something to have for dinner, Nick hit on an old favorite of ours: Monte Cristos! I probably haven’t had one since college, which is… a while. For the uninitiated, a Monte Cristo is a deep fried double-decker ham and cheese sandwich (sometimes there’s turkey in there, too) which is deep fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Yum! Not being lucky enough to own a deep-fryer (yet), I remembered making them in college with slices of French toast. And we were off to the grocery store to get sandwich fixings.
On the way there, (before biking through the protest) we tried to think of an appropriate side dish. Coleslaw sounded good, but our favorite coleslaw recipe contains buttermilk, an ingredient I have as yet been unable to find. I decided that plain yogurt might make an acceptable substitute. For some reason, regular white and red cabbages are horrendously expensive here (we’re talking two to three euros a head!) so we ended up taking home the cheaper French green cabbage. How different can it be?
<Bleep> this <bleep> piece of <bleep> website! <Bleep> thing just erased half my <bleep> post! To sum up the rest of my heartbreakingly eloquent prose, French cabbage + carrots + yogurt + tarragon vinegar + celery salt = damn fine (albeit French-y) coleslaw.
Sandwiches? Brioche French toast + Jambon de Paris + Emmenthal = gooey sweet and salty deliciousness.
Want to try this at home? Here’s my recipe for the coleslaw (I think you can figure out the sandwiches on your own):
½ head green cabbage (the crinkly, leafy French cabbage is best if you can find it), shredded
1 Tbsp. coarse sea salt
2 carrots, grated
250 g/8 oz. plain yogurt
60 ml/2 oz. tarragon vinegar
1 shallot, minced
1 tsp. celery salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tsp. sugar (depending on the tartness of the yogurt)
- Place the shredded cabbage in a colander and sprinkle with the sea salt. Let sit about an hour, until the cabbage begins to wilt. (It will lose some water as well, so put the colander in the sink or on top of a towel.) Rinse and drain.
- Combine the yogurt, vinegar, shallot, celery salt, pepper, and sugar in a large bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary – the flavor should be fairly assertive.
- Toss the cabbage and carrots with the dressing until evenly coated. Serve at room temperature. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. This gets even better as it sits, so make it a day in advance if you have time!