Monday, April 16, 2007

Classic Recipe -- Monte Cristo Sandwich

The MONTE CRISTO is a sandwich with ham and chicken (sometimes turkey) and cheese, usually Swiss cheese, dipped in beaten egg and grilled with butter until golden brown. All of the earliest mentions of the Monte Cristo on menus are from southern California in the early 1940s.

Usually made with white bread (but it is even better with homemade whole wheat bread).

Spread a little Dijon mustard on one slice of bread, and mayonnaise on the other.
Add some freshly ground pepper.
Make a sandwich with:
sliced ham
sliced chicken (or turkey)
sliced Swiss cheese (Gruyere is better)

Trim the crusts off the bread, pressing down slightly to sort of seal the edges of the sandwich as you cut the crusts off. (Cut the sandwich in two before dipping in the egg if desired)
Beat an egg with 2 tsp milk (try it with a sprinkle of nutmeg added)
Heat a pan with a tablespoon of butter on medium heat.
Dip the sandwich in the egg mixture and fry in the butter until golden brown on both sides.

Frequently sprinkled with powdered sugar, and traditionally served with raspberry preserves.

*They are sometimes made with 3 slices of bread, ham and chicken on the bottom layer, and the cheese on the top layer of the sandwich.
*Restaurants will frequently deep fry Monte Cristo's. They are much better sauteed in a pan with butter.



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