Tips for the Perfect Monte Cristo Sandwich

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You have probably seen a Monte Cristo Sandwich on the menu of your local French cafe but never thought about making it at home. Luckily, you can make this popular brunch order at home without much hassle or ingredients. 

The Monte Cristo Sandwich tends to vary from one region to another, but the classic sandwich is made up of two slices of white bread with ham, turkey or chicken, and a slice of cheese. The bread is dipped in beaten egg and fried in butter. It usually comes with a side of jam to dip it in and is dusted with powdered sugar.

It may look more complicated than that, but if you can make a ham and cheese sandwich and french toast, you can make a Monte Cristo. It is definitely easy-to-make and tastes better if done correctly. Check out these tips below for the perfect Monte Cristo Sandwich.

Tips for the Perfect Monte Cristo Sandwich
Image Source: thekitchn.com

Origin

The Monte Cristo was initially served in 1910 in a Paris cafe. However, it is believed that the sandwich was first served in southern California in the 1950s. Disneyland in Anaheim, California, contributed to the trend of eating this sandwich. 

Most food historians believe that the Monte Cristo Sandwich is a variation of a French dish called Croque Monsieur or Croque Madame. The original grilled cheese sandwich consisted of Gruyere cheese and lean ham, between two slices of crust-less bread. 

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In the 1930s, many American cookbooks featured the Monte Cristo Sandwich under different names like Toasted Ham Sandwich, French Toasted Cheese Sandwich, and the French Sandwich. In the 1950s, it made its way into a southern Californian restaurant menu as The Monte.  

It made its debut in 1966 when it was included in the menu of Blue Bayou and Tahitian Terrace restaurants in New Orleans’ Square in Disneyland. It is still a popular casual snack in most bars and cafes around France and Switzerland. 

Cooking Tips

There are plenty of variations of Monte Cristo out there. In some areas of the United States, it is grilled. In other places, it is an open sandwich with just the battered bread and grill or broiler-heated assembled sandwich. 

Instead of wheat, you will need white and soft but thickly sliced bread to make dipping, frying, and cooking the sandwich easier. Then, get thinly sliced sweet honey ham and turkey at the deli counter, although even pre-sliced meat will work. You can either use creamy Gruyère cheese, which is more conventional, or sliced Provolone

Mix the milk and eggs to make a traditional batter mixture. Don’t forget to cook the sandwiches in butter and melt a tablespoon or two in a small skillet over a medium heat. In preparing the sandwiches, it is okay to use a good nonstick skillet, but if you would like to give some color to the sandwiches, you can use a cast iron pan. 

Monte Cristo sandwiches are often dusted with powdered sugar, and served with berry jam for dipping to balance all the savory goodness. If you want to dip your sandwich, have a small ramekin or cup for jam or jelly. Should you wish to serve it with powdered sugar, use a small strainer to prevent getting big clumps of powdered sugar all over. 

Tips for the Perfect Monte Cristo Sandwich
Image Source: macheesmo.com

 

Conclusion

It may be available in local French cafes, but it can be tough to find it nowadays. 

Save yourself the hassle of finding a restaurant to get your hands and taste buds on it. Make this sandwich at the comfort of your own home. Remember that the ingredients in creating the perfect Monte Cristo sandwich are simple, but it’s all about the method.

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