Thursday, November 10, 2011

monte cristo sandwiches

A classic Monte Cristo? a glorified sandwich..... is. 
A ham and cheese sandwich - sometimes fried, sometimes baked, sometimes made with left over french toast! (i'm probably going to have to try that one soon) almost always delicious and one of those menu items that some people consider a "treat" when out for brunch or lunch.
Could I make this at home and have it retain it's "treat" status?
Would it be worth my time and effort?
Or should I leave it on the list of foods that we eat "only when out"?
(i.e.....lobster, filet mignon, nine layer chocolate cake with an inch of chocolate frosting and chocolate shavings, that sort of thing)

I decided to give it a go.
It was delicious.
Grilled cheese meets great slices of ham meets crispy outside meets warm salty inside.
It was totally worth it.
Now I did finally decide on two different ways I like this. One is just dipped in an egg and milk mixture, then fried. That was also yummy - here is a link to a not very good photo of it, but you get the idea - 'the other monte cristo'

The recipe I'm posting today has a few more ingredients in the batter but was just as good and just as easy.

I hope you give it a go.


good bread - sliced
good ham - preferably deli sliced
swiss cheese - this is the traditional cheese used - i'm sure you can use whatever is your favorite

vegetable oil for frying

1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sugar

(the cinnamon and sugar are optional - i tried it this way because of the idea to make this with french toast)

mayonnaise if desired (i did not use)

confectioners sugar for dusting if you like it sweet (also did not use)


mix all the above ingredients together - just a couple turns of salt and pepper - the cheese seemed to give just the right amount of saltiness to each bite
mix well 

it should look and feel like a thin pancake batter - if it seems too thick add a little water and mix well again

next, assemble your sandwiches
lay your bread slices side by side
place a small piece of cheese on each slice - this is going to kind of act like your glue so your ham and bread pieces don't slide around

layer more ham and cheese in there

close up the sandwich - also important is to NOT take a bite at this point!

get your skillet warmed and ready - add a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil

using a pair of tongs (or your hands)
dip in the batter

flip and dip again
note : most recipes call for getting batter all the way around the sides as well. Then the sandwich is usually deep fried.
I was not deep frying this sandwich so I only did the sides and then placed it in my skillet

fry at around a medium heat - you want the sandwich to warm through but you do not want the outside getting too dark.

flip and cook the other side

plate and slice in half
sprinkle confectioners sugar over the top if using

serve immediately


  1. I just linked to this from the Bee!