Yes, you read that right: ham, cheese, and French toast.
Inspired by the French croque-monsieur, Monte Cristo kicks the classic ham and cheese sandwich up a notch with the distinct savory graininess of Gruyère and the egg-y richness of French toast. To really bring out the nuance of its various flavors, though, it’s crucial to forego the temptingly easy microwave route and take the time to grill it in a pan. You know it’s worth it when you nibble the burnt pieces of cheese along the edges of the buttery, non-soggy toast and relish the gooey center of every bite. The only drawback might be that, once you’ve made it for yourself, the D’fo version will be all the more disappointing.
Prep Time: 3 minutes (excluding French toast prep)
Cook Time: 6-8 minutes
Total Time: About 10 minutes
2 slices uncooked, aka still soggy, French toast (use your own recipe or our 5-minute one – see tips at the bottom of the directions)
Optional: extra French toast liquid mixture
2 slices ham (or 1 slice ham and 1 slice turkey)
A little over ¼ cup shredded Gruyère or Swiss cheese (see tips at the bottom of the directions)
To serve: powdered sugar, maple syrup, or preserves
1. Smear toast with as much or little mustard as you like.
2. Place one slice of ham on the toast and sprinkle a pinch of cheese.
3. Top with another ham slice.
4. Pile on the remaining cheese.
5. Complete the sandwich with the other slice of toast.
6. Melt a pat of butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. If you have the optional French toast mixture, dunk the entire sandwich in it for some extra decadence.
7. Grill the sandwich for 4 minutes on each side, covered for the first minute and a half and uncovered the rest of the time. Serve with any of the suggested toppings or plain.
1. If you want your sandwich to be savory only, leave out the cinnamon, extracts, sugar, etc. that your French toast recipe calls for. The point is to have egg-y bread.
2. Gruyère is the Monte Cristo standard, but Swiss is the easiest to come by and much cheaper. Some other options are Jarlsberg, Emmentaler, Comte, Beaufort, and Raclette. For a unique, non-traditional take, try using brie.
3. Brown the sandwich well to make sure the egg is fully cooked (unless you find the risk of salmonella exciting).