Monte Cristo

The French got a few things right, food and kissing being two of them. I studied French for 6 years and was always excited when we had a cultural event-- which translated in my head as food and music! Here's one of the sandwiches I remember having to practice ordering. It's a great brunch sandwich after a night of mayhem. It's not the healthiest, but it's pretty tasty. I strongly recommend Helen's in Richmond (near Carytown) for some amazing French based brunch.

Monte Cristo

1/2 cup of milk, plus 2 tablespoons
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 an egg (mix an egg and use half)

6 slices thin white sandwich bread, crust removed
1/6 pound sliced turkey
1/6 pound sliced smoked ham
4 slices Swiss cheese
Dijon Mustard

Butter for the pan
Berry jam (your choice)
Confectioner's sugar, traditionally

Whisk together the batter ingredients and place in shallow bowl. Set aside. Place a slice of bread on a clean surface and spread a thin layer of mustard. Layer with a slice of Swiss and a few sliced of turkey. Top with another slice of bread. Spread another layer of mustard and top with a few slices of ham and a slice of Swiss. Top with one more slice of bread.

Melt butter in the skillet (don't be shy- even tho i generally dislike butter). Dip each side of the sandwich in the batter- make you let it drizzle on the side too. Cook in the skillet till a golden brown and flip carefully using tongs. Cover the skillet if needed to disperse heat. Use the tongs to hold the sandwich vertically and cook the sides as well.

I found it helped to actually dip one side of the bread and let it brown slowly, then add the other layers of the sandwich while it was cooking in the skillet. This made the process less messy with the batter dripping. I coated the top of the sandwich while it was in the actual skillet so the batter could freely drip down the sides of the sandwich.

Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar (optional) and serve with jam to dip. Grab yourself a nice mimosa, put your feet up, and share stories with a good friend.