Monte Cristo Grilled Cheese Sandwich {recipe}

Monte Cristo Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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).

We kept ours simple, though, so we could get in front of the TV and watch the Masters.
Monte Cristo Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Monte Cristo Grilled Cheese Sandwich

makes 2 sandwiches

Ingredients

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

Directions

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.

by Sarah J. Gim on April 7, 2012 · 4 comments

{ 4 comments }

Bob Y April 7, 2012 at 6:54 pm

The Monte Cristo brings back all kinds of memories. But wasn’t it served with a cheese sauce before it went into the grill?

Vicki Costa May 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm

I don’t recall it being served with a cheese sauce before grilling. It is usually completely dipped in a light batter and deep fried. The first time I had one of these it was dusted with powdered sugar and served witha side of raspberry preserves…I thought it sounded gross too, however….it was DELICIOUS!!! I recently had one and got my friend hooked.
This recipe sounds delicious and will definately make.

Kim December 1, 2012 at 6:03 pm

It was served with cheese sauce when it was popular sandwich on menus in the early 1980′s. It was also a triple decker and weighed a ton you could share it with a friend but had trouble finishing your half.

Kate July 10, 2013 at 3:19 pm

This classic combo of sweet and savory is actually delicious (not that I’m usually willing to ingest that many calories), and it’s not unlike the popular Chicken and Waffles you referenced in one of these posts, and, in another of your own 30 Days of Sandwiches — the donut grilled cheese! The idea that strikes me as more repugnant is a Hamburger on Krispy Kreme donuts. That sounds horrific — starting with the fact it uses Krispy Kreme which I think is highly overrated.

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