Monday, May 25

The Monte Cristo Sandwich and Dwight Howard: Both Super

monte cristo

The two best things to come from Orlando, FL are not Walt Disney World and Sea World. They are Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic and the Monte Cristo sandwich.

Technically neither Howard nor the Monte Cristo is from Orlando. Howard was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Monte Cristo has roots in France. But both are currently popular in Orlando, and both are Mmm-mmm good.

Dwight Howard: Photo credit Wikipedia.

Dwight Howard is the 6 foot 11 inch center of the Orlando Magic who was named the NBA's 2009 Defensive Player of the year.

A Monte Cristo consists of ham, turkey or chicken, and Swiss cheese sandwiched between two slices of white or challah bread that is dipped in an egg batter, then grilled or fried in butter until golden brown. It is often dusted with confectioners’ sugar and served with a side of red currant jelly.

The Monte Cristo is an American version of the Croque-Monsieur, the famed French grilled cheese and ham sandwich that is fried in clarified butter. The sandwich first appeared on the menu at Gordon’s, a restaurant on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, but it didn't get its big break until Disneyworld got involved. When the Blue Bayou Restaurant in the Pirates of the Caribbean put the Monte Cristo on its menu, its popularity soared.

I hadn't eaten a Monte Cristo since I was a kid, and I didn't remember particularly loving it. My, how things have changed. This sandwich has it all: it's sweet, salty, and chewy. It's addictive.

After all this talk about the Monte Cristo, I think I'll be making them for dinner tomorrow night while I watch Dwight play game 4 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

monte cristo 2

Monte Cristo Sandwich

Makes 2 sandwiches
Print recipe only here.

2 large eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

4 slices bread (white or egg bread such as challah)
Butter for bread
4 slices turkey
4 slices baked ham
4 slices Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons butter, or as much as needed for frying

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Red currant jelly (or jelly of your choice), or sweet mustard on the side

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper.

Butter both sides of each slice of bread. Place 1 slice each of ham, turkey, and Swiss cheese on each slice of bread and close the sandwiches.

Melt butter in a griddle or large fry pan over medium-high heat. One at a time, dip each sandwich into the egg-milk mixture allowing excess to drip into the bowl. Place on the hot griddle or fry pan coated with butter, adding more as necessary. Fry for about 3 minutes per side, or until both sides are golden brown.

Cut each sandwich on the diagonal. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, and serve with a side of jelly or sweet mustard.

For a sweeter take, use egg bread and serve with dusted confectioners’ sugar, fruit jellies, and fresh fruit. For a savory version, use white or wheat bread, skip the confectioners’ sugar and fruit, and serve with a side of mayo or sweet mustard and some sliced pickles.

Shopping Note: Red currant jelly is widely available at supermarkets. Strawberry or mixed berry jelly make good substitutes.

You might also like:

Breakfast Egg Sandwich with Avocado and Chipotle-Mayo


Swiss Chard, Potato, and Parmesan Frittata (makes a great breakfast sandwich)


Heather said...

ohhh. monte cristos are my favorite!! this looks so good :)

Snooky doodle said...

really interesting! didn t know the existence of this sandwich . It surely has it all. Looks so good :)I ve just woken up and I bet it s ideal for breakfast too :))

Manggy said...

Ding ding ding! That is one of my favorite (if not my favorite, probably next to the mighty cheeseburger) sandwich ever. I think it's the jam (though I've only ever eaten it with raspberry jam, yum). Looks like the Sandwich Field guide is shaping up to be a verrry delicious tour indeed! ;)

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Mmmm. Wow. Yum.

Oh, and the sandwiches look utterly scrummy, too... ;-)

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Well, I'm ready to hop a plane to Orlanda, Los Angeles, or San Diego! Love the Monte Cristo!

Aggie said...

What a pleasant surprise to see a pic of Dwight in your post!! Go Magic!!

Oh...and the sandwiches look yummy...;)

Peter M said...

That sangwich looks mighty fine...fabulous pics..again!

Megan said...

Oh yes, Our first taste came from the Blue Bayou and we fell in love instantly! I'll have to try making my own cuz my daughter just loves these. Your pictures are awesome!

Rachel said...

An irresistible sandwich....

Anonymous said...

When you get ready to research the po-boy (surely you plan to include it) you really must talk with someone who remembers their origins, which means a New Orleans old-timer.

Unknown said...

I would have pegged you as a Celtics fan ;) Love Monte Cristo's! Haven't made them in years, maybe it's time to remedy that. Being on the west coast you get to watch the games at dinner time. Some nights I have to get out the toothpicks to keep my eyes open and pray the games don't go into overtime.

Karen said...

I haven't had a monte cristo sandwich in so long... they are so good!

Laura said...

I generally am not the biggest fan of sandwiches, but I always make an exception for a Monte Cristo...delicious! I also like them with mozzarella and nothing else, which I suppose makes it something othern than a Monte Cristo...

Deborah said...

I LOVE monte cristo sandwiches!

Ivy said...

Never heard of this sandwich before but what sounds rather strange to me is the jelly and icing sugar.

Lisa Johnson said...

LOL and yum! All kinds of eye candy on this post! ; )

Christine said...

Powdered sugar notwithstanding, this looks like a quite delicious sandwich!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

heather-Thanks so much!

snooky-Perfect timing indeed!

mark-Then you should have been here for dinner last night-- bbq, bacon cheeseburgers. :)


tw-Southwest is having a sale. ;)

peterm-Sangwich. haha.

megan-I hope she enjoys them!

rachel-Many thanks.

anonymous-Thank you for the suggestion. I am including it.

george-I am a Celtics fa, but they're out, and a girl's gotta root for somebody. Yeah, we on the WC definitely have an advantage.

karen-Time for one, now? ;)

laura-They're irresistible.

deborah-I'm glad to hear it!

ivy-You'd be surprised. It's absolutely delicious.

anali-That's sweet. Thanks!

christine-Ha! jeff likes it with extra sugar.

Anonymous said...

That is the most mouth watering, gorgeous Monte Cristo I have ever seen, plus, your photography is out of this world. I wish I could take it right off the screen and scarf it dowh :)

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Tum Susan. I wonder what is in a Dwight Howard...Google here I come:D

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Monte Cristo is my husband's speciality. When I get a night off from cooking, that's what he fixes. I've never had one on challah bread - must remedy that immediately!

joe@italyville said...

The Monte Cristo looks delicious and the Magic looked pretty good last night too. All the hype about Lebron and the Cavs... looks like they might be eating Monte Cristos on the golf course next week!

Culinary Wannabe said...

A sweet and savory sandwich sounds really good. So do you eat it for breakfast or lunch?

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I discovered Monte Cristos late in life. I remember my college cafeteria served them sometimes and to me they just looked like grilled cheese sandwiches. I didn't get it.

Years later I saw them on a menu with a full description of what they were. I tried one and wondered what I had missed out on all of these years! I love them with maple syrup and a fruit salad, but I know a nice restaurant that will also serve them with mornay sauce.

♥Rosie♥ said...

Interesting, I've never heard of this sandwich before. I like the idea of sweet and savory!

Mrs. L said...

I never would have thought of making a Monte Cristo sandwich at home, but this looks so good I'll have to give it a try.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Mmmhhh, that sandwich looks mighty scrumptious!



veron said...

I have memories of the monte cristo sandwich when I was growing up. Interesting how disney put it on the map. Where have I been, you are writing a field guide to sandwiches? Congratulations Susan!!

Elyse said...

Mmm, I love a good monte cristo! So glad it's popular in your area right now. Basketball and sandwiches...well, they're two of life's greatest things, no?! Delish!

Lori Lynn said...

Love all the elements of this sandwich. A classic.

Acai Berry said...

When you get ready to research the po-boy (surely you plan to include it) you really must talk with someone who remembers their origins, which means a New Orleans old-timer.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

lisamicheele-Thanks for the sweet words. :)

val-Lots of sweetness! :)

lynn-That's a great dinner to come home to!

joe-I think LeBron is too depressed to play golf yet!

ashley-Both. And dinner too!

sdoc-Done correctly, they're quite memorable indeed.

rosie-It's really good.

mrsl-Plus, they're easy to make.


veron-Thanks! I appreciate it.

elyse-They are great!

lorilynn-Classic all the way.

acaiberry-That's a great idea. Thanks.

Owen Taylor said...

I consider the Monte Cristo to be the king of sandwiches. In the very early 1970s I discovered it in, of all places, the Holiday Inn restaurant in Cleveland, Mississippi. It has always been hard to find. In the early 1980s I found them on the menu at a resort in the 1,000 Lakes area of New York. Lately, I discovered it on -- and ordered it from -- the menu at our local Chedders. Thanks for the background.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

owen-Cleveland, Mississippi? Never even heard of it. But apparently they have good taste in sandwiches. Glad you liked the post.

stacy said...

I first had a Monte Cristo when I was 9 years old at the Hotel Del Coronado on Coronado Island. My family went back there about every other year until I was 16, and I ALWAYS had the Monte Cristo! It is huge, and delicious. Particularly when eating it poolside exhausted from swimming. You have to try theirs! so good!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

stacy-I will have to try it. I live about 10 min. from the Hotel Del!

Anonymous said...

I am late in finding your blog, somehow, despite all the food blogs I follow-- it's fabulous-- but I couldn't help but stop to comment on this post. Seeing Dwight's name in the post title and his picture in your post made me grin ear-to-ear. Love that guy. And it's not often that I find other women in the blogosphere that have a soft spot for basketball. So, thanks for the happy moment!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

friday-Thanks for the sweet comment! Yes, we have to stick together. As for Dwight, he's a dream. :)