Who loves good french toast? Oh, I do. Slap on half a stick of butter and real maple syrup with a side of bacon and oh my goodness, that’s breakfast paradise. Paul has become a master at making french toast and he says the key is the bread. It has to be good quality Italian loaf that is left over from our dinner a few nights before. The bread needs to sit and get somewhat dried out, otherwise known as stale. I’ve even seen him slice bread that was so dry, it was on the verge of falling apart in crumbs. Take those slices and soak them in an egg and milk batter, cook them on a flat skillet and it’s fabulous!
Well, this blog isn’t exactly about french toast, it’s really about the Monte Cristo Sandwich that he made one night last week. We both got home from work quite late, we were tired, hungry, I didn’t have anything in the slow cooker and neither of us wanted left overs again. Paul saw the stale bread on the counter that we had with a previous dinner and suggested breakfast for dinner. I was on board! Then he asked about making a Monte Cristo Sandwich with the french toast! My mouth started watering. We raided the refrigerator to see if we had ham, cheese and some kind of good jam for the top and here’s what we came up with. It was a quick and easy weeknight meal and I just loved it!
Here’s what he did.
Here’s the bread we left over from another dinner. It was crusty and pretty dry. He sliced it into 4 pieces about 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick.
In a dish big enough for the slices to lay in, beat 3 eggs with about 1/4 cup milk with a fork or whisk. (This is for 4 slices of bread) You can really eyeball this. Over medium heat, preheat a large flat skillet that has been sprayed with cooking oil.
Lay a slice of bread in the egg mixture for about 5 seconds, flip it over for another 5 seconds.
Transfer it to the preheated skillet. Repeat this with the other slices.
Brown the first side and flip it over to brown the other side. As for how long… so much of this depends on your cook top and how hot your burners are. You may want to start with medium-low flames until you learn how hot and quickly it browns.
If you have space, scoot over the bread slices and throw down some ham slices to warm them up. If not, just heat them in another pan. We decided it would melt the cheese quicker and just be overall better if the ham was already warm before assembling the sandwich.
While the other side is browning and the ham is warming, spread some gooood mustard on the slices. We have a local made mustard called Lusty Monk that we love. In the picture, you can see that mustard seeds are all in there and it’s one of the best we’ve had. (and you can pronounce all of the ingredients) So, just use your favorite mustard for this sandwich.
Next, add a layer of cheese. Here we used provolone. We were going to use Swiss, but it wasn’t “usable” so we decided provolone would suffice. I would definitely use it again, it was so good. Just use whatever you have on hand.
Top the cheese with slices of warm ham. I think we used 4 slices here.
Put the other slice of bread on top and you’re almost ready to sink your teeth into this fabulous sandwich!
Like I said earlier, we rummaged through the fridge to see what we had on hand to make this sandwich. Paul found some raspberry jam and that’s what we spread on top. Let me tell you… It works! I told him this is my new favorite “breakfast” sandwich for anytime. Of course you can use strawberry or any other favorite jam.
I know this may not be a typical Monte Cristo, but this is how we roll during the work week when time is of essence and we’re just plain tired and hungry. It’s all about what we have on hand that we can slap together quickly.
Do you have a different variation of the traditional Monte Cristo?
Here’s the printer friendly recipe.