It’s National Monte Cristo Day! Like any other food, holiday, we must celebrate. Honestly, I don’t know who comes up with these obscure holidays, but I am all for celebrating them. Especially when it involves this sandwich. It is one of my all-time favorites, along with Medianoches (Cuban pressed sandwiches). My parents and I used to go to a restaurant in Virginia that served Monte Cristo sandwiches, and it’s what my Mom would always order. It would arrive on a platter, all golden brown and crispy, topped with a cloud of powdered sugar with a side of raspberry jam for dipping. The first bite was a ridiculous mix of salty ham, savory turkey, buttery bread, sweet powdered sugar and tangy jam. It’s a sandwich that defied logic, since the ingredients weren’t always something you’d pair together normally, but trust me when I say it is fabulous.
I set out to make this sandwich today, but I did not want to deal with the batter, the oil and the whole deep frying process. Instead, I made it melty and delicious in a skillet, grilled cheese style. Then I thought I’d switch it up and use waffles for the outside, just to shake things up a bit.
Best. Decision. Ever.
I think I may have to retire the bread and the batter for this one, and just go with the waffles from here on out. Gather some ingredients and let’s put these together, assembly line style.
2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
4 slices of Bread (preferably brioche, potato bread, italian bread or equivalent)
4 ounces Ham, sliced deli-thin
4 ounces Turkey, sliced deli-thin
2 ounces Swiss Cheese, sliced
1 tablespoon Butter, softened
Powdered Sugar for serving
Raspberry Jam for serving
Mix the mayo and dijon mustard in a small bowl.
Spread a little of the mayo and mustard mixture on each slice of bread. Build the sandwich by placing 2 ounces of ham on 2 slices of the bread. Place 2 ounces of turkey on top of the ham. Top the turkey with swiss cheese and the other slice of bread. You’ll have two completed sandwiches.
Spread half of the softened butter onto the tops of the sandwiches. Place the sandwiches, butter side down, in a cold skillet. Use the remaining butter to spread on top of the sandwiches and place the skillet over medium low heat. Low heat is key for great texture.
Cook sandwiches over medium low heat until the first side is golden and crispy. Flip the sandwiches and cook the other side until crispy. It requires patience, but it is worth the crunchy results. This should take about 10-12 minutes.
After the sandwiches are cooked, transfer to a wire rack or plate, cut in half and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Dip in raspberry jam between bites for optimal deliciousness.
Use 4 frozen waffles in place of bread. Toast lightly just to thaw, but not brown. Proceed with sandwich building as above.
Enjoy these with as much powdered sugar and raspberry as you want, especially today, since it’s a day of celebration. Be sure to share your photos and comments with me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter; I love connecting with you all and seeing your photos! Happy Monte Cristo Day!