The original Monte Cristo is a fried ham and cheese sandwich. It is a variation of the French croque-monsieur which is a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. The croque-monsieur (“to crunch”–“mister”) first recorded appearance was on a Parisian café menu in 1910. Both the Monte Cristo and the croque-monsieur typically used Emmental or Gruyere cheese.
Directions for 4 servings:
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup half & half
- ¼ cup sweet brown mustard
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons Maine maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 slices of challah or other thick-cut egg bread
- 16 slices of thinly slices smoked ham
- 8 slices of Havarti (or Monterey Jack)
- 1 ripe but firm Bosc pear, sliced
- Powdered sugar
- Fresh raspberries, for garnish
- Raspberry preserves, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Mix the eggs, half & half, sweet mustard, 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup, and salt in blender for 5 seconds and pour into a wide bowl for dipping.
- Layer four slices of the bread with cheese, ham, sliced pear, and another layer of cheese, then top with the remaining 4 slices of bread. Cut in half. Dip the sandwich halves into the egg mixture and fry on a griddle over medium heat until brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Move the sandwiches to a parchment-lined cookie sheet when done. Cover with aluminum foil and place the cookie sheet in oven for 20 minutes, uncovering after 15, until completely heated through.
- Serve the two halves on a plate with sprinkled powdered sugar, fresh raspberries, maple syrup, and raspberry preserves. Sometimes we add diced kiwi for color and a light acidic bite.
View photos of some of Dawn's other breakfast creations.