It’s like the best ham and cheese sandwich you will ever have! And if you had ham for Christmas, I bet you have everything you need to make these for breakfast: bread, ham, cheese, mayo (optional), eggs, milk and butter. Ready? Let’s go!
I know, I know, all the shops are CLOSED on Christmas day! And THAT is why I’m sharing these Monte Cristo sandwiches. To use up leftover Christmas ham, to turn the ordinary into an extraordinary breakfast, lunch or even dinner!
Even if you overloaded on ham on Christmas Day and think you can’t face more ham in the morning….well! Let me just describe these for you.
Monte Cristos are a ham and cheese sandwich that’s been french-toasted. (Is that a real word? Let’s make it one!). It’s America’s answer to the French classic French Monsieur!
It goes like this: Slather bread with mayo (optional), pile on (lots of) ham, top with (lots of) cheese, sandwich with another piece of bread, dip in egg-milk mix and pan fry in butter until golden. The more the better. 🙂
Look at the crust on these Monte Cristos! They are cooked for a bit longer than french toast usually is because it needs the time for the cheese inside to melt. And that is why you end up with a really beautiful thick golden crust, unlike the usual french toast.
Looks pretty good, no?
There is one very difficult decision that needs to be made with these. And that is this: fancy bread or ordinary sandwich bread? Both are just as good! Sourdough and other fancy artisan breads get a slightly thicker, stiffer crust but sandwich bread typically has a larger surface area so there is more ooey-gooey-melted cheese and hot ham centre.
It’s a tough call. Tough call. A decision I’m incapable of making.
I leave that earth-shattering-life-changing decision up to you! – Nagi x
PS One more look at gooey melted cheese and hot ham clamped snugly between golden, buttery french toast, just in case I haven’t already convinced you that you need these in your life!!! 😉
P.S. I feel like I’ve forgotten something….oh, that’s right! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! 😉
- 4 slices bread of choice (Note 1)
- 1 large egg or 2 small eggs
- 1 tbsp milk
- 2 tsp mayonnaise (I like whole egg mayo)
- 2 - 4 slices gruyere cheese (or other grated or sliced melting cheese of choice)
- Ham or turkey , sliced or shaved
- 1 - 2 tbsp unsalted butter
Lightly whisk egg, milk and a generous pinch of salt in a flat bowl.
Spread 2 slices of bread with mayonnaise.
Top with ham, then cheese, then sandwich with remaining slices of bread. Press down firmly.
Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.
Dip each side of the sandwiches briefly in the egg mixture, then place in skillet.
Cook the first side, pressing down with an egg flip, for 3 minutes or until deep golden brown.
Flip and cook the other side for 3 minutes, pressing down firmly with the egg flip, until golden brown and the cheese is melted.
Serve immediately, while hot!
1. This is great made with artisan (e.g. sourdough) bread or ordinary sandwich bread. Sourdough yields a slightly crunchier golden crust whereas sandwich bread has a higher ratio of soft gooey melted cheese and hot ham. I enjoy both!
2. No one should be counting calories for holiday eating! But because I know you will want to make this much more often than just in the days after Christmas, here you go. This is the nutrition for 1 Monte Cristo, assuming it's made with ordinary white sandwich bread.