Holly’s Recipe: Monte Cristos

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“A Monte Cristo is a fried ham and cheese sandwich, a variation of the French croque-monsieur. In the 1930s–1960s, American cookbooks had recipes for this sandwich under such names as “French Sandwich”, “Toasted Ham Sandwich”, and “French Toasted Cheese Sandwich”. Swiss cheese is typically used.”

Today for breakfast, I served these beauties for myself and the daycare children. They are fairly easy to make but there are a few tips and tricks that make these amazing (compared to other recipes.)

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Monte Cristo Sandwich (recipe for 1 sandwich)
2 slices bread (white or honey wheat)
3 slices deli ham
3 slices deli turkey
1-2 slices cheese (we love muenster or havarti)
1 Tablespoon mayonaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

For Egg Wash
1 egg, beaten
1 Tablespoon milk
Dash of salt and pepper

Topping
1 teaspoon powdered sugar, sifted (optional)
1 Tablespoon of 4-Fruit Jam or Boysenberry jam

Begin with having all items accessible and working on a cutting board. Remove the crust from the bread and place on the cutting board. Spread the mayonaise on both sides then add the Dijon on and spread it evenly on the bread. Put the cheese on the sandwich next. If using 2 slices, put one on each piece of bread. Then layer on your ham and turkey. Flip the top half onto the bottom half with the mayonaise sides inwards.

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Wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap, place on a plate, and put in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes, 1 hour is better. Wrapping the sandwiches helps them stay together when we pan-fry them later.

Once you’re ready to cook them, beat an egg in a wide dish and add the milk, mixing well. Add in a dash of salt and pepper. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once the pan is heated, use tongs to dip the entire sandwich in the egg wash, flip it over, and then place in the skillet to cook. Cook until golden, about 3-4 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side another 3-4 minutes. Remove and plate. Top with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and/or a dollop of jelly. My favorite is boysenberry or Bonne Maman’s 4 Fruit, though you can use whichever you like. Eat with a fork and knife. Bon appétit!

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