These sweet and savory sandwiches remind me of a restaurant that used to be in Austin called Bombay Bicycle Club. It was a special place we’d go for birthdays and I’m pretty sure that I almost always ordered the monte cristo. Theirs was full of meat and cheese, deep fried, covered in powered sugar and served with a side of raspberry preserves. And I think it came with fries. And I probably had a hot fudge sundae for dessert. This was back in the days of high metabolism. Those were good days.
When a post came up on the King Arthur Flour blog the other day about croque monsieurs and monte cristos I immediately added the ingredients to my grocery list.
I usually buy groceries a few days in advance, and sometimes (when Ben does the grocery shopping for me on Sunday afternoons) I will have groceries for the entire week of meals and not need to go to the store. The only problem with this is that sometimes I get to the day I had planned to make such-and-such for dinner and I don’t want to make it. That happened with this meal. It just seemed like more work than I wanted to put in to dinner that night. But in the end it was a really quick meal with less mess than I’d anticipated and more deliciousness.
I found this incredible brioche loaf at Whole Foods (set me back $8 but was totally worth it).
You can use any bread you like, but a soft white is pretty wonderful since it really soaks up the egg. These are triple-decker sandwiches, turkey and ham on one half and Emmentaler swiss on the other.
If you’re using thick bread slices you may want to smoosh the sandwich a bit with your hand.
After assembling the sandwiches you dredge both sides in a mix of egg and milk.
And then cook them until golden brown.
After cooking, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve up with a side of raspberry preserves for dipping.
If you’re making more than 2 sandwiches just increase the amount of bread, meat and cheese. The egg is enough for probably 4 sandwiches. Set your oven to 200°F and put the finished sandwiches on a cookie sheet lined with foil while you cook the rest of the sandwiches. They won’t have the great crunch they do when they’re fresh, but at least they’ll be warm. To make sure your sandwiches are heated through and that the cheese gets perfectly melted, take the meat and cheese out of the fridge for 20 minutes before cooking so that it’s not cold when it goes into the pan and keep the heat medium-low so that the outside doesn’t cook too much before the center is warm. Enjoy!
Monte Cristo Sandwiches
Makes 2 sandwiches
- 6 slices of good white bread
- 4 slices of ham
- 4 slices of turkey
- 2-4 slices of swiss cheese (depending on the size of your bread and how cheesy and delicious you’d like your sandwich to be)
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons of milk
- powdered sugar
- raspberry preserves
- Heat skillet over medium-low heat.
- Arrange meats on bottom layer of bread, top with a slice of buttered bread, top with a slice or 2 of cheese. Repeat with other sandwich. If your bread is thick, press the sandwich down with your hand to flatten it slightly.
- Whisk egg and milk together in a pie plate or shallow dish. Dip both sides of the sandwich in the egg.
- Melt a little butter in your pan, then place the sandwiches in the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, making sure it doesn’t get too dark. If it is cooking too quickly, turn down the heat.
- Move sandwiches to a cutting board and slice in half. Move to plates and sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar.