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Monte Cristo Sandwich
The Monte Cristo Sandwich, when it's made in the traditional way, is dipped in beaten egg then fried in butter in a skillet. There are several variations to this method, however. It can also be served as an open-faced sandwich or just the bread battered like french toast. With the french toast as a base, add ham, turkey, and Swiss cheese on top, then broil under a broiler for a few minutes. The classic version is served with a side of jelly to dip it in.
Depending on where you live, your version of this sandwich could be savory or sweet. The sweet version can be served sprinkled with powdered sugar. Or the sandwich can be served with fruit preserves, maple syrup, or sweet mustard. And sometimes it can be served with fresh fruit or clotted cream on the side.
The savory sandwich can be served with thousand island dressing. According to some this is called the Cumberland Head style up in Northern New York. It can also be served with sour cream.
Where did this sandwich come from? The French have a sandwich called the Croque-Monsieur. According to historians, in 1910, the original grilled cheese sandwich was made with Gruyere cheese and lean ham on two slices of white bread with the crusts cut off. The sandwich was then fried in clarified butter. Not too bad, right?
Before it became known as the Monte Cristo, the sandwich was called by several different names – French Sandwich, the Toasted Ham Sandwich, or the French Toasted Cheese Sandwich. The American version is thought to come into being in the southern California around the 1950's. And in 1966, Disneyland jumped in to boost the popularity of this sandwich.
In Anaheim, California, the Monte Cristo sandwich appeared on Disneyland's menus at the Blue Bayou (see first video below) and Tahitian Terrace restaurants. So whether you enjoy the original version, the classic version, or a version that is all it's own, you aren't alone when it comes to people who eat this popular sandwich for breakfast or lunch, or possibly dinner. We think it's here to stay.
Here's a video from Disneyland's Blue Bayou, showing how they make their version of the sandwich.
And another version by the Neely's of Down Home with the Neely's on Food Network.