Monte Cristo sandwiches are basically a fancy ham & cheese sandwich with the volume turned up! 🙂 They are a simplified version of the famous Croque Madame. I had my first Croque Madame sandwich in Paris when I studied abroad in college. It was life-changing y’all, and by far one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever tasted! The main difference between a Croque Madame versus a Monte Cristo is there isn’t any cheese baked on top of the sandwich or a fried egg.
This recipe was inspired by a donut sandwich I had this past year in New Orleans. Yes, you read that correctly — a donut sandwich. Genius right?! 😉 The sweet donut bread combined with raspberry preserves, Dijon mustard, ham, and cheese was PERFECTION. I knew I had to recreate the recipe when I got home! The best substitute I could think of in place of the donut was sweet Hawaiian bread. Not to mention, Hawaiian bread is the perfect ingredient for French toast! It’s very fluffy and serves as a great sponge for the batter.
Another KEY ingredient for this recipe is the brie! I tested this recipe with a few different kinds of cheese and brie was by far the winner. I was looking for a cheese that melts beautifully and pairs really well with the raspberry preserves. Check & check!
If you are looking for a new brunch recipe to try over the weekend, look no further! I cannot recommend this sandwich enough! I love that this sandwich can be served as breakfast, lunch or dinner. My mouth is watering just writing this post lol. Enjoy y’all!
French Toast Monte Cristo Sandwiches
YIELDS 2-4 SERVINGS
(2 LARGE SANDWICHES)
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 15-20 MINUTES
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar
Pinch of coarse kosher salt
4 slices Hawaiian bread, each 3/4 inch thick
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
3-4 tablespoons raspberry preserves
8-10 thin slices black forest ham
5 ounces of brie, sliced
Powdered sugar (garnish)
- In a shallow baking dish, whisk together two eggs.
- Add the half-and-half, vanilla, light brown sugar, and a pinch of salt and whisk until combined.
- Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- On a work surface, lay out 4 slices of Hawaiian bread.
- Spread 2 slices with 1-2 tablespoons of raspberry preserves on each slice.
- Spread the remaining two slices with 1/2 teaspoon of dijon mustard on each slice. (Use dijon mustard sparingly — it is very strong and flavorful.)
- Place the brie on top of the raspberry preserves. Then add 4-5 slices of thinly sliced ham on top of the brie.
- Top with the slices of bread spread with mustard.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat, and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Place the sandwiches in the egg mixture and soak for 30 seconds per side. (It’s easiest to use your hands to flip the sandwich in the egg mixture to ensure the sandwich stays intact.)
- Turn the heat down to medium-low and transfer the sandwiches to the skillet using a large spatula.
- Cook sandwiches 3-5 minutes on each side until browned to liking.
- Transfer sandwiches on to a baking sheet, and warm in the oven for 5-10 minutes. This will ensure that the brie is completely melted. 🙂
- Slice each sandwich in half & dust with powdered sugar.
It’s best to buy a whole loaf of Hawaiian bread and cut it with a sharp serrated knife.
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