Monte Cristo Sandwich

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Introduction: Monte Cristo Sandwich

When another editor at RS told me she had recently tried frozen French toast and actually liked it, I was determined to come up with a recipe that put its egg-y coating to use. Monte Cristos are usually dipped in egg before they're grilled. This recipe eliminates that step. -- Kate Merker, Associate Food Editor, Real Simple

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This ham, turkey, and cheese sandwich would be rich and decadent even if the bread wasn't dipped in egg and fried in butter. Food historians agree that the Monte Cristo descended from the croque monsieur, the French-bistro standard that's essentially the same sandwich minus the turkey. But no one seems sure how or even if it relates to The Count of Monte Cristo, the 1844 novel by Alexandre Dumas pere. This simplified Monte Cristo takes one major shortcut: It uses frozen French toast, eliminating the egg-dipping step. But it's no less luxurious -- definitely fit for a count, whether or not it was named for one.

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 6-count boxes frozen French toast
1 9-ounce package thinly sliced ham
1 9-ounce package thinly sliced turkey
12 slices Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (optional)
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

Step 1: Prepare

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the mustard on 6 pieces of the French toast and divide the ham and turkey evenly among the 6 pieces.

Step 2: Top, Spread

Top each with 2 slices of the cheese. Spread the remaining pieces of French toast with the mayonnaise (if using) and sandwich together.

Step 3: Spread, Cook

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spread 1/2 tablespoon of the butter on the top and bottom of each sandwich. Cook 3 sandwiches in the skillet until brown, 2 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches.

Step 4: Bake

Transfer to a baking sheet and bake until the cheese is melted and the toast is heated through, about 4 minutes.

Step 5: Serve

Transfer to a cutting board and cut in half before serving.

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A real Monte Cristo sandwich is indeed a croque monsieur that is treated as French toast -- which means ham and cheese ONLY inside, and the cheese had better be Gruyere or Swiss. No mayo, no mustard, no American cheese, and NO TURKEY!! Add to that a dip in egg batter, then fry or grill on a griddle as you would regular French toast. All departures from this basic recipe are regional variations and should be identified as such (for example, any jelly, preserves or marmalade were added later, as was the sprinkling of powdered sugar). And here's the supporting citation:

http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/Sandwiches/MonteCristoSandwich.htm

This is a great snack for both adults and kids. Good thing that the mayo is optional. What could you recommend that I use if not mayo?

you're so cruel i wish could just eat so tempting just to bite into the screen *homer drooling over food*

just made one with some normal bread, and American cheese; it was great. Thanks for my new afternoon snack. ;)

is mustard necessary here? this sandwich looks tasty, but i don't really like mustard; can i replace it with something?

This sandwich can be made better by dusting with a lil powder sugar (confectioners sugar). Also you really can't beat dipping the whole thing in egg it gives it an all around better texture.

I Just made one and it was so good. nice instructable!

Why french toast? That just seems so random to me...

and also, french toast is essentially bread dipped in egg and then fried, just like the bread in the original monte cristo.