When I saw this recipe on Design*Sponge a while back, I remember thinking, I don’t know what that is, but it sure looks good. After finally getting around to making it, I know that it tastes as good as it looks. I’ve never had a classic Monte Cristo, but this recipe has given me a new appreciation for fried sandwiches in general, so that *could* be next on my list. In any case, this adaptation of an original is tops. It’s fantastic as both breakfast AND lunch (and probably your evening meal, too, though I wouldn’t eat this more than once a day if I were you).
This version of the recipe requires you to refrigerate the sandwich prior to frying it, so make sure you give yourself enough time. If you’re planning it for breakfast, try making it up the night before and chilling it overnight — and be sure to make enough to share!
Start with some nice bread.
This is a rustic sourdough. I like sourdough.
For each sandwich, spread two slices of bread generously with apricot jam. Apricot jam is my favourite, so this is one of the reasons I decided to try this recipe.
Then, on one side of your sandwiches, spread some soft plain goat cheese (chèvre). On the other, artistically drape a few slices prosciutto (the original calls for ham, so you could use that if you prefer, and for those of you who are kosher or halal, there is another variant with deli turkey, or forego the meat altogether).
For each sandwich, you’re going to need 1 egg, fried over easy. I’m not very good at frying eggs neatly but I did okay with these ones. Feel free to season with salt and pepper.
Carefully lay your fried egg on top of one side of your sandwich, then just as carefully lay the other side of the sandwich over top.
I may have pressed too hard. Oops. Wrap the sandwich in Saran wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight. I guess you do this so everything congeals together before frying.
When you’re ready to eat, you need to make yourself some batter. For each sandwich, you’ll need 1 egg, 2 tablespoons milk (I used cream to be extra luxurious and it was SO worth it), and a sprinkling of cinnamon (two sandwiches, two eggs, etc.). Whisk that all together.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a hot skillet (I used the same one I fried the eggs in). If you think that’s a lot of butter, keep in mind that some versions of this sandwich are DEEP FRIED, so count your blessings.
Carefully dip both sides of each sandwich into the batter.
Set it in the skillet to fry in the butter. It truly smells fantastic.
Flip (carefully) and cook the other side as well. You want the outside to cook enough that the inside gets all warm and gooey, but not so much that it burns. This all depends on your skillet and stove and the thickness of your bread. You’ll just have to experiment with timing and temperature.
Eat it piping hot. Fantastic with a cup of coffee and a glass of cranberry juice. Very filling!