A Monte Cristo is always well worth its copious calorie count. As a child, I loved the classic ham, cheese and turkey combination encased in egg-dipped, crisped bread, dusted with powdered sugar and dolloped with sour cream and strawberry jam. An adult now and enamored of the strong and flavorful as well as the mild and sweet, I occasionally replace Swiss cheese with Parmesan or gorgonzola and pedestrian ham with prosciutto. But the turkey is non-negotiable. —Gail Monaghan
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
slices of white sandwich bread
1 1/2 teaspoons
thinly sliced cooked ham
thinly sliced roasted turkey breast
thinly sliced Emmentaler, Jarlsburg or Gouda cheese
In a wide, shallow bowl, beat 2 large eggs, ⅔ cup whole milk and sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste until combined. Set aside.
Spread 4 slices white sandwich bread with 1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard. Divide 6 ounces thinly sliced cooked ham and 6 ounces thinly sliced roasted turkey breast among bread slices. Divide 6 ounces thinly sliced Emmentaler, Jarlsburg or Gouda cheese among sandwiches. Top sandwiches with 4 more slices white sandwich bread.
In a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat, melt ½ stick unsalted butter until foaming. Place one sandwich in reserved egg mixture, flipping to coat both sides, then place in frying pan and cook undisturbed until exterior is golden brown and cheese is melted, 3-5 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining sandwiches.
Before serving, dust each sandwich with powdered sugar. Place sour cream and cranberry sauce in small bowls and serve as condiments alongside sandwiches.