A Super Sandwich: The Monte Cristo

by Susan Russo
Print Email

montecristoA Monte Cristo consists of ham, turkey or chicken, and Swiss cheese sandwiched between two slices of white or challah bread that is dipped in an egg batter, then grilled or fried in butter until golden brown. It is often dusted with confectioners’ sugar and served with a side of red currant jelly.

The Monte Cristo is an American version of the Croque-Monsieur, the famed French grilled cheese and ham sandwich that is fried in clarified butter.

The sandwich first appeared on the menu at Gordon’s, a restaurant on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, but it didn't get its big break until Disneyworld got involved. When the Blue Bayou Restaurant in the Pirates of the Caribbean put the Monte Cristo on its menu, its popularity soared.

I hadn't eaten a Monte Cristo since I was a kid, and I didn't remember particularly loving it. My, how things have changed. This sandwich has it all: it's sweet, salty, and chewy. It's addictive.


Monte Cristo Sandwich

Makes 2 sandwiches

2 large eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

4 slices bread (white or egg bread such as challah)
Butter for bread
4 slices turkey
4 slices baked ham
4 slices Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons butter, or as much as needed for frying

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Red currant jelly (or jelly of your choice), or sweet mustard on the side

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper.

Butter both sides of each slice of bread. Place 1 slice each of ham, turkey, and Swiss cheese on each slice of bread and close the sandwiches.

Melt butter in a griddle or large fry pan over medium-high heat. One at a time, dip each sandwich into the egg-milk mixture allowing excess to drip into the bowl. Place on the hot griddle or fry pan coated with butter, adding more as necessary. Fry for about 3 minutes per side, or until both sides are golden brown.

Cut each sandwich on the diagonal. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, and serve with a side of jelly or sweet mustard.

For a sweeter take, use egg bread and serve with dusted confectioners’ sugar, fruit jellies, and fresh fruit. For a savory version, use white or wheat bread, skip the confectioners’ sugar and fruit, and serve with a side of mayo or sweet mustard and some sliced pickles.

Shopping Note: Red currant jelly is widely available at supermarkets. Strawberry or mixed berry jelly make good substitutes.

 


Susan Russo is a free lance food writer in San Diego, California. She publishes stories, recipes, and photos on her cooking blog, <Food Blogga and is a regular contributor to NPR’s <Kitchen Window. She is also the author of  Recipes Every Man Should KnowCookbook Review: Parents Need to Eat Too and The Encyclopedia of SandwichesCookbook Review: Parents Need to Eat Too.

Comments   

0 #1 foodlover 2012-04-16 17:46
by the way, the best monte cristo in the world is, don't laugh, at disneyland in the Blue Bayou, the restaurant adjacent to The Pirates of the Caribbean. me and my kids sometimes joke that we're going to drive to disneyland just for that sandwich.
Quote

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

 

restaurant news

The Smoke Shack
Mid-West
by Lisa Dinsmore

smokeshakeI am a planner. I never go on a trip without scoping out what there is to do and the best places to eat. We never do everything on the list, but I hate to be bored or to eat boring food. We aren’t...

Read more...
A Night at Angelus
London - British Isles
by Carolan Nathan

angelusLondon has become a mecca for great restaurants...contrary to the myth that has grown up probably due to ignorance and jealousy especially by the French and also by many Americans unfortunately. A...

Read more...
Caracol Mexican Coastal Cuisine
Texas
by Nancy Ellison

caracolCaracol is not my idea of a Mexican Restaurant. My idea of a Mexican restaurant is that small family owned local café in Toluca Lake or Carmen’s on 3rd St. that we would go to on Thursday night,...

Read more...
Blue Hill
New York
by Jeanne Kelley

dan.jpgA friend of mine says that all the restaurants in New York City are good. Her belief is that is that with so many options, only quality survives. I’m not one to put her theory to the test as I...

Read more...