This recipe is inspired by one of my favorite restaurants at Disneyland, Blue Bayou. I thought about making a healthy version, but this is a recipe you just have to go all in with. And it's worth it;)
Blue Bayou Monte Cristo Sandwich
1 3/4 cups water
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
8 slices Hawaiian bread (challah works well), sliced 1/2-inch thick
8 thin slices ham
8 thin slices Swiss cheese (make it vegetarian by removing the ham and add more cheese!)
3 cups canola oil
Apricot/ pineapple preserves (or any preserve)
Line a cookie sheet with paper towels; set aside.
Whisk the egg and water together in a mixing bowl. Add flour, salt, and baking powder and beat for 2 minutes.
On one slice of bread, arrange 2 slices of ham and cheese. Spread preserve of your choice on the remaining slice of bread and place on top.
Heat oil to between 365 degrees F and 375 degrees F in a 10-inch pan. Do not let the oil reach a higher temperature than this. Dip the sandwich into the batter, allowing excess to drain, and very carefully place into the oil.
Cook 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Cook one at a time, and allow the oil to reach the desired temperature between each. Place the cooked sandwich on the prepared cookie sheet in a warm oven until ready to serve. Repeat with the other three sandwiches.
Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and serve with additional preserves on the side.