April is National Grilled Cheese Month, so we’re celebrating by posting a grilled cheese sandwich every day. This is No. 7. See all of our grilled cheese sandwiches >> here << .
The most obvious grilled cheese sandwich for a weekend brunch was some sort of French toast, so we turned to a named classic, the Monte Cristo…
If you’re familiar with the Croque Monsieur/Croque Madame, the Monte Cristo is a cousin, with similar ham and cheese ingredients of both, and the addition of egg like the Croque Madame. But unlike the Croque Madame, which is served with a fried or poached egg ontop of the sandwich, the Monte Cristo is essentially a savory French toast-wich, bread dipped in egg then fried.
There are all sorts of variations from there, including serving it open faced on two slices of French toast (rather than dipping one entire sandwich in the egg batter) and dusting the Monte Cristo with powdered sugar (this is what we always thought was the distinguishing characteristic of the Monte Cristo).
Monte Cristo Grilled Cheese Sandwich
makes 2 sandwiches
4 slices day old bread, preferably thick-sliced brioche (day old, slightly dried out bread will soak up the egg better)
4 slices Swiss cheese
2-4 thin slices ham
2-4 slices of roast chicken breast
2 eggs lightly beaten
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons softened butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
For each sandwich, place a slice of Swiss cheese on each piece of bread. Add 1-2 slices of ham and 1-2 slices of chicken breast, then close the sandwich.
(We were tempted to pile more ham and chicken breast onto the sandwich, but thought that a heavy meat-to-cheese-ratio would tip the sandwich away from “grilled cheese” and toward just “ham and cheese sandwich.”)
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium low heat. Add the butter. When it melts, swirl the pan to combine.
Dip the entire sandwich in a mixture of the beaten eggs and milk in a wide, shallow bowl or plate with high sides. Let the sandwich “soak” the egg mixture for about a minute, then flip the sandwich over to coat the other side with egg. Repeat with the second sandwich.
Cook the sandwiches slowly in a skillet or on a griddle on one side until egg is golden brown and set and cheese has started to melt, about five minutes. Turn and cook the other side.
Remove the grilled sandwiches from the pan. Cut into halves and serve. Some people dust the sandwich with powdered sugar and serve with jelly. This does not sound the least bit appetizing to us at all, but hey it’s your sandwich.