This Monte Cristo sandwich recipe is an innovative take on hearty food. It brings relished flavors that deliver a bellyful in one petite serving — a perfect start to National Monte Cristo Day (September 17).
The sandwich is such an effortless treat that brings fabulous flavors to a humble toast. This one is no different.
Except, with lower sodium, cholesterol, and calories, it’s a much healthier treat! Read on to learn about Monte Cristo and its health benefits.
What Is a Monte Cristo Sandwich?
Typically, a Monte Cristo is a replica of a ham and cheese sandwich. After assembling, it’s dipped in an egg batter, fried in butter, and sprinkled with powdered sugar to top it off.
Over time, the Monte Cristo has developed into several sweet and savory variations, leaving flavoring choices in the maker’s hands.
Croque Monsieur vs Monte Cristo
Croque Monsieur is the original French dish the Monte Cristo is supposed to have originated from. The difference comes in adding a béchamel sauce that really enhances the flavor of a Croque Monsieur.
What’s more, a Monte Cristo is dipped in an egg custard, whereas a Croque Monsieur typically is not.
Is a Monte Cristo Sandwich Healthy?
Let’s begin with bread, which has the most nutritional value. Compared to white bread, sprouted wheat bread has more fiber and serves half the amount of sodium per slice.
There’s every reason to monitor our sodium intake, what with all the snacking and cheat meals we may choose to indulge in throughout the day.
Reducing salt and sodium intake may help reduce the risk of heart disease, among many other complications. Low vitamin D and high blood pressure cases are just some examples of conditions that may result from high-sodium diets.
Sprouted wheat bread is also lower in calories, giving us room to add more slices to this sandwich!
Another nutritious aspect is eggs. Egg whites are a low-calorie source of proteins.
They contribute over 60% of the protein found in a whole egg while staying low in other nutrients and overall calories. As a result, they are an excellent option for those wanting to lose weight and build muscle.
What’s in a Monte Cristo Sandwich?
Like any other sandwich, a Monte Cristo is made up of bread and filling. However, your choice of these elements makes all the difference.
1. Best Bread for Monte Cristo Sandwich
Brioche or French bread are our go-to choices for every fried sandwich recipe. Whether it’s French toast or the Monte Cristo, these types of bread are perfect for soaking up egg custard without absorbing too much of it.
Brioche is denser than standard bread loaves, meaning it will produce a firmer sandwich. You can get similar results using day-old sliced bread or baguette bread, which is drier than other varieties.
If you want to try another recipe, our French Toast Casserole also makes a delicious breakfast treat.
For us, this is the fun part when making a Monte Cristo; you can stack juicy, flavorsome meat between the bread for a savory center. Meat like ham, or bacon, is excellent for adding natural fat that accentuates flavor.
Turkey slices are also a perfect way to get yummy pork flavor with less fat. Whichever meat you use, remember to layer it with some cheese, like mozzarella, for that stringy cheese effect we all love.
At first, we weren’t sure how the flavors of meat and berry would go together in this dish. But we knew a Monte Cristo sandwich without jam would be just another regular sandwich.
Adding jam is the finishing touch that takes the sandwich from simple to elegant. It brings berry zest to complete a dish bursting with sweet and savory flavors.
How to Make Monte Cristo Sandwich
The two main ways to make a Monte Cristo are deep frying and shallow frying. Other versions opt to toast or grill it.
This recipe is a ham, bacon, and cheese sandwich dipped in an egg custard. After that, we shallow-fry it in butter and olive oil.
To begin, get out three slices of bread for each sandwich. Use bacon, ham, cheese, dijon mustard, and mayonnaise as the filling.
Flatten it to make a level surface, then trim the crusts off before soaking the sandwich in the egg batter.
Next, make a quick but robust dip by mixing blueberry or raspberry jam with some orange juice. Heat the butter and olive oil in a pan before adding the sandwich to cook.
Once it’s crispy brown on all sides, it’s ready to serve.
First, to get a nice, compact sandwich that’s easy to cook, use a cutting board to compress the sandwich.
Next, use a spatula, with one hand on top, to dip the sandwich for about 4 seconds on each side. The batter should reach halfway up the middle slice, so you get a fair whack of creaminess.
You’ll also be surprised how any citrus juice will add pleasant, tangy flavors that bring another facet to the dish.
What to Serve with a Monte Cristo Sandwich
Below are a few of our favorite accompaniments for Monte Cristo.
1. Berry Dip
Make a zesty berry dip using strawberry or blueberry jam and orange juice. Berries are superfoods rich with nutrients.
On a taste level, they give a sweet-savory flavor to the dish and a tartness balanced by the creamy toast.
Bite-sized fruits like grapes (or tomatoes) are a smart way to add light calories. They are full of quenching flavor and add an appreciated sweetness to the dish.
Their acidity also helps to cut through the decadent flavors of the Monte Cristo.
3. Carrot Orange Ginger Juice
To complete a full and filling breakfast, add a quenching element like a carrot beverage. Carrot juice not only complements a sweet and cheesy sandwich but also adds nutrients and healthy calories.
We suggest keeping Monte Cristo side dishes simple, light, and nutritious. This way, you can round up your meal without taking away from the filling flavors of the sandwich.
|Monte Cristo||Breakfast||469||7.8 g||526 mg|
|Carrot Orange Ginger Juice||Beverage||127||0.0 g||45 mg|
|Total||596||7.8 g||571 mg|
Monte Cristo Recipe
- 5 egg whites
- 8 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 1/2 tbsp blueberry jam
- 4 tsp orange juice
- Start by roughly chopping the bacon. Combine the mayonnaise and dijon mustard in a dip bowl. In another bowl, mix the blueberry jam and orange juice to create a dip.
- In a shallow dish, add the egg whites, milk, and vanilla and whisk together until mixed.
- To make one sandwich, lay out 3 slices of bread. Add cheese onto the first slice, followed by ham. Spread the mayonnaise and dijon mixture onto one side of the second slice. Place it on top of the ham (mayonnaise side down) spread the mayonnaise and dijon mixture, then add bacon, followed by cheese. Finally, add the third slice of bread.
- Use a rolling pin or cutting board to compress the sandwich for about 10-15 seconds. Cut the sandwich diagonally.
- In a skillet, melt some butter and add olive oil at medium heat. (You can fry two sandwiches at a time if the skillet is large enough. Just remember to divide the butter and oil accordingly.) Dip the sandwich into the egg mix and transfer it to the skillet. Cook for 4 minutes on each side until a dark, crispy brown crust forms.
- Remove from the heat and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately with blueberry dip and a light beverage.
1. How Many Calories Are in Monte Cristo Sandwich?
This Monte Cristo sandwich contains 469 calories per serving, about 23% of your daily calories on a 2,000-calorie diet. Most of them come from proteins, meaning this dish will keep you satiated for longer periods.
A significant chunk also comes from carbs, namely 26% of your daily fiber need and 14 grams of net carbs.
2. Can You Freeze a Monte Cristo Sandwich?
Yes, you can freeze a Monte Cristo sandwich.
All you have to do is wrap each sandwich separately using plastic wrap. After that, place them in an airtight container like a Tupperware box.
Monte Cristo sandwiches are best enjoyed fresh. However, if you leave frozen batches to defrost in the fridge and then lightly fry them in butter, you can reintroduce that crispy fried exterior.
Remember not to add jam or powdered sugar to the sandwiches if you’re storing them. Store plain sandwiches and add the condiments only after reheating.
3. How Long Does a Monte Cristo Last?
Monte Cristo sandwiches can last from two to three months in the freezer. But you can also store them short-term in the refrigerator for up to three days.