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The Case for French-Toasting Your Sandwich

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During the holiday season, big parties, bigger meals, and show-stopping main courses usually get all the attention. We've partnered with Eggland's Best to shine a light on the less flashy moments and simpler dishes that are still just as important. Each one—including this retro-classic sandwich—is made more delicious and nutritious with EB eggs.

The leftover Thanksgiving sandwich gets all the glory. You know the one I’m talking about: bread slathered with mayo, topped with cranberry sauce, sliced turkey, stuffing, and whatever other leftover sides you can cram in between two slices of bread. I’m not saying it’s not delicious—it very much is. But there’s another leftover sandwich that’s been waiting in the ranks, and it deserves some love.

A quick soak in EB eggs whipped with cream make this leftover champ extra delicious.
A quick soak in EB eggs whipped with cream make this leftover champ extra delicious. Photo by Rocky Luten

That would be the Monte Cristo — a retro sandwich that may have fallen slightly out of fashion since its heyday in the '50s and '60s, but one that remains exceedingly tempting. The concept is a riff on the Croque Monsieur, and is basically what happens if you combine grilled ham and cheese with French toast treatment. And it’s easy to make with your holiday dinner leftovers — whether that means ham, turkey, or both.

Traditionally, the butter-fried sandwich is dusted with confectioner's sugar and served with jam or preserves on the side, or even drenched in maple syrup. It’s the perfect combination of savory and sweet, eggy and cheesy, covered in crispy.

Monte Cristo with Orange and Rosemary Maple Syrup
Monte Cristo with Orange and Rosemary Maple Syrup

In our favorite version, ham and Gruyere are layered on fluffy, buttery brioche that then gets dipped into a custard base of egg yolks and cream. (It sounds like a messy procedure, but it’s nothing more complicated than your Sunday morning French toast routine.) Then, in a moment of brilliance, you spread the sandwiches with whipped egg whites and sprinkle with panko breadcrumbs. The minute these lovelies hit the pan, the egg white and panko transform into an airy but and shatteringly crisp exterior. All the while, there’s cheese melting inside!

Even better, these sandwiches require minimum effort for maximum flavor. They can be made in batches and left to warm in the oven, making them the perfect choice for feeding a large crowd (including kids!), or those holiday stragglers that just can’t take a hint.

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While these sandwiches are delicious on their own, an easy, infused maple syrup sends them over the top. Heat maple syrup with orange, rosemary, and black pepper to give it extra zing (and an even more holiday-friendly flavor). Load your batch of Monte Cristo sandwiches onto a platter, pour the syrup on top, and ring the dinner bell (or breakfast, brunch, or lunch bell)—the chimes of victory for the new reigning champ of leftovers.

We're shining a light on some of the holiday season's simpler dishes, all made more delicious with EB eggs. Eggland's Best credits the extra vitamins and minerals in their eggs (like ten times more vitamin E and six times more vitamin D) to an all-vegetarian hen feed.

Tags: Leftovers, Christmas