Saturday, September 5, 2015

Monte Cristo Sandwich

Monte Cristo - Schar's Gluten Free Artisan Loaf

The Monte Cristo Sandwich used to be one of my favorite neighborhood diner dishes.  It’s a ham and cheese sandwich that’s first dipped into a French toast egg wash before being pan fried.  

Most restaurants used to finish the sandwich with a light dusting of powdered sugar and serve it with a little jam on the side but I usually asked them to skip the sugaring step as I always preferred a straight-up savory sandwich.  

At 2:00 AM, it was my go-to pairing for a Bloody Mary to cap off an epic evening with friends.

Being gluten free, now it’s almost impossible to order at a restaurant.  Even if you were able to find a place that stocks gluten free bread, the chances of having it prepared in a manner without encountering gluten cross contamination is highly unlikely.

So the safest route of course is to make it yourself at home.  Luckily it’s an easy sandwich to do.  Schar’s new gluten free Artisan Baker bread held up very nicely.  And the sourdough starter they used in their dough recipe added a nice flavor quality you don’t see in most gluten free breads that are on the market.

The next time you are looking for a quick meal that’s like having breakfast for dinner, give the Monte Cristo a try.  You’ll love it.  

Monte Cristo Sandwich
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 5 min
Servings: 2

  • 4 slices of bread (I used Schar Artisan white)
  • 3-4 oz ham
  • 3-4 oz gruyere or cheddar cheese
  • Dijon mustard
  • 1 egg
  • 2-4 tbsp milk, heavy cream or half and half
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • cayenne, to taste
  • butter to cook the sandwiches

Video Tutorial: 

  1. To construct the sandwiches, spread one slice of bread with a small amount of Dijon mustard, add ¼ cheese, then ½ the ham, then another ¼ of the cheese then top the sandwich with a second slice of bread that you’ve also spread with a small amount of Dijon.
  2. Press down the top slice of bread so the sandwich will stay together better and repeat this procedure to construct the second sandwich.
  3. To mix the egg wash, in a bowl wide enough to dip the sandwich, combine one egg with about 4 tablespoons of milk, (or heavy cream or half and half) and a sprinkle of cayenne and salt and pepper to taste then beat until these ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  4. Now preheat a cast iron skillet to medium low then add a tablespoon or so of butter and dip each sandwich into the egg wash on each then lower it into the pan.  
  5. Let it cook low and slow for about 3 minutes on the first side or until it’s golden brown then flip it and let it cook on the second side until it’s golden brown then remove it from the pan and serve.   

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