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How do you make a Monte Cristo?

ipsedixit Apr 23, 2013 11:40 AM

A recent post on a regional board got me wondering about how people make their Monte Cristo sandwiches at home.

What kind of bread do you use? White? Brioche? Something else?

Or do you gild the lily and use, say, French Toast?

What about the stuff inside. Ham and turkey? Both, or just one or the other?

Or do you get creative with the meat. Say, use something like Serrano ham (or "real" Black Forest Ham), or go ethnic with prosciutto or ghetto with Oscar Meyer Bologna or gnarly with something like Scrapple?

And the cheese. What kind of cheese do you use? Swiss? Cheddar? Something more exotic?

Do tell.

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  1. melpy RE: ipsedixit Apr 23, 2013 11:52 AM

    I don't eat or make them but I was under te impression that French toast was the standard bread whether or not you go savory or sweet.

    3 Replies
    1. re: melpy
      ipsedixit RE: melpy Apr 23, 2013 12:58 PM

      I've seen iterations where the whole sandwich (bread, meat and cheese) are dipped in egg.

      But what do I know ...

      1. re: ipsedixit
        melpy RE: ipsedixit Apr 24, 2013 08:13 AM

        I meant doesn't it end up being dipped and fried whether or not it is the sum of the parts or te individual ingredients. Obviously we are all on the same page.

        1. re: melpy
          ipsedixit RE: melpy Apr 24, 2013 08:16 AM

          I think if you use french toast, you end up double dipping (so to speak) and frying twice, at least with the bread component.

    2. g
      gildeddawn RE: ipsedixit Apr 23, 2013 11:54 AM

      I save my Monte Cristo making for when I've got homemade white sandwich bread. Then, I soak it in custard, French Toast style, made of eggs and cream with a little cinnamon and fry it butter like French Toast. Once it's been fried on both sides, I add ham - usually Black Forest - and turkey and gruyere. Then it goes in a hot oven for a few minutes to make sure the filling gets hot and the cheese is melted. One last quick trip to the frying pan to get a second, crunchy crust on the bread, then straight to a warm plate with strawberry jam on the side.

      1 Reply
      1. re: gildeddawn
        macca RE: gildeddawn Apr 23, 2013 12:00 PM

        I do almost the same- but usually use scali bread, and I serve with maple syrup- but strawberry jam sounds delicious!

      2. t
        travelerjjm RE: ipsedixit Apr 23, 2013 02:47 PM

        I make mine very much like this http://allrecipes.com/recipe/monte-cr... but I use a little sweet mustard on the bread. I serve with strawberry jam.

        2 Replies
        1. re: travelerjjm
          ipsedixit RE: travelerjjm Apr 23, 2013 02:49 PM

          See, I think this is the traditional method.

          I wonder how this method would work with French Toast (and not white bread) as the bread to begin with.

          1. re: ipsedixit
            travelerjjm RE: ipsedixit Apr 23, 2013 02:58 PM

            This is very traditional and that's what I like :) If you used French Toast, then dipped and fried it, wouldn't that be a lot of coating? I mean you're basically soaking the bread in egg and milk and frying, then soaking the whole sandwich again and frying (although traditionally the first one is pretty shallow frying), right?

            When I make french toast I try to make it thick, so I could never get a sandwich of two pieces in my mouth, LOL. And French Toast is generally made with stale bread or at least bread left out overnite -- I don't do that for Monte Cristo.

        2. j
          jjjrfoodie RE: ipsedixit Apr 23, 2013 02:57 PM

          In the midwest, "big boy" monte cristos use white bread , ham, cheese, turkey, dip in batter and deep fry once assembled.

          Yes--the whole thing.

          French toast and no fat deep frying is cute but just a riff.

          Good, but just a riff.

          Gotta serve syrup or jelly on the side.


          Not a "make at home" dish for me and twice a year brunch dish out at most.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jjjrfoodie
            justalex RE: jjjrfoodie Apr 23, 2013 07:33 PM

            In my experience, most midwestern monte cristos are made 'almost' exactly like you described. The ones I've had were dusted with a little powdered sugar after their trip through the fryer. Always raspberry jam on the side. So good, but soooo rich. About six bites and I'm done until next year.

            I don't make them at home either. I always have to bring along willing accomplices to a restaurant to share.

          2. t
            treb RE: ipsedixit Apr 23, 2013 03:30 PM

            Enjoy a traditional MC but, think you can embellish by subbing ingredients, especially the ham, ie. serrano or a moderate level proscuitto, gruyere, something with a nutty back note etc.

            1. c oliver RE: ipsedixit Apr 23, 2013 06:18 PM

              How do YOU make them?

              5 Replies
              1. re: c oliver
                ipsedixit RE: c oliver Apr 23, 2013 07:00 PM

                The traditional way, but I like to serve them savory with a condiment cocktail of soy sauce, hoisin and Sriracha.

                1. re: ipsedixit
                  c oliver RE: ipsedixit Apr 23, 2013 07:06 PM

                  So like travelerjim above? And the "condiment cocktail" is for dipping?

                  1. re: c oliver
                    ipsedixit RE: c oliver Apr 23, 2013 07:23 PM

                    Yes, but usu. no cheese. And yes the cocktail is for dipping (instead of the traditional jam)

                  2. re: ipsedixit
                    treb RE: ipsedixit Apr 24, 2013 08:06 AM

                    Soy?? kinda salty dont' you think? and Hoisin, what meats and cheese would go well with those two gems?

                    1. re: treb
                      ipsedixit RE: treb Apr 24, 2013 08:11 AM

                      No cheese (don't like cheese).

                      Sliced turkey breast (or roast beef if I have leftovers)

                2. s
                  sandylc RE: ipsedixit Apr 23, 2013 07:56 PM

                  I haven't done them in years, but I did the ham turkey swiss american whole wheat-like battered deep-fried powdered sugared raspberry jam kind. Kinda low-brow, but yum.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sandylc
                    ipsedixit RE: sandylc Apr 23, 2013 08:14 PM

                    No such thing as low-brow when it comes to Monte Cristos.

                  2. AmyH RE: ipsedixit Apr 24, 2013 08:27 AM

                    We love this monte cristo recipe from Chow:

                    It has just the right amount of ham, turkey and cheese. The red current jelly is perfect with it, too. I use a heartier white whole wheat sandwich bread, like Arnold or Pepperidge Farm farmhouse white. It holds up well.

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