Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sweet and Salty Breakfast Monte Cristos

In May, I was the winner of the Iron Chef Challenge hosted by Amy at a Latte with Ott, A. The contest was for the best ham recipe, and my wild rice quiche was the winner! Winning a blog contest is good enough, but I also won a delicious ham from Dakin Farm.

So you can imagine my excitement when Amy told us that in December, all the previous winners from the past 11 months would be "baking off" against one another! The contest is sponsored by Taste of Home, and each of us baked the cinnamon raisin quick bread featured in yesterday's post. The winner of today's contest will be chosen based on who was the most creative in using the prepared bread. So here's my entry: Sweet and Salty Breakfast Monte Cristos.

Have you ever had a monte cristo? It's a variation of the French croque-monsieur and usually consists of turkey, ham, and gruyere between two slices of bread that are then battered and fried. I thought the cinnamon raisin quick bread would make a wonderful "foundation" for a variation on the traditional monte cristo. And I was right. My version is a breakfast sandwich (although I would eat it any time of the day!) featuring ham, swiss and a fried egg between two slices of the cinnamon bread, dipped in egg (like french toast) and then grilled and served with syrup or strawberry cream cheese. Let's get cooking!

Start by frying the eggs. Break each egg carefully into a skillet coated with nonstick spray. Break the yolk with a fork, and cook over medium heat for about two minutes or until set on the bottom. Flip the egg and cook for an additional two minutes until it's completely set.

To assemble the sandwiches, layer the ham and swiss on the bread

then add the egg.

Whisk the two remaining eggs with the milk for your "french toast" batter.

Carefully place each sandwich into the egg batter and press down lightly so that it absorbs some egg mixture into the bread.

Now even more carefully, since the bread is slightly soggy, flip the sandwich to coat the other side with egg.

Gingerly place the sandwich in a large skillet coated with nonstick spray. (You can even use the same one you fried the eggs in!)

Let the sandwiches cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes or until golden brown (like french toast). Now, super carefully, flip each sandwich over and let it cook on this side for 3-4 minutes. Remove to plates and serve with syrup,

strawberry cream cheese, your favorite preserves, or just eat it plain. In any case, it will be delicious! Here's how happy this made my sister in law, who loves egg sandwiches, and loved the added dimension of the sweet bread in contrast to the salty meat and cheese.

Thanks, Amy, for this fun challenge. And thanks to Taste of Home for a great bread recipe!

One year ago: Macaroon Kisses
Two years ago: Caramel Pecan Apple Pie

There are more great ideas at Turning the Table Thursday, It's a Keeper, Full Plate Thursday, Sweet Treats Thursday, Sweet Tooth Friday, Foodie Friday, Friday Potluck, Fusion Fridays, Food on Fridays, Friday Food.

Sweet and Salty Breakfast Monte Cristos

8 slices cinnamon raisin quick bread
8 thin slices smoked ham (about 1/4 pound)
4 slices swiss cheese
6 eggs
1/3 cup milk

In a large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray, fry 4 eggs (separately) until hard, flipping halfway through (about two minutes per side). Remove the eggs to a plate and re-coat the skillet with cooking spray.

On 4 slices of bread, layer two slices ham, one slice swiss, and one cooked egg. Top with second slice of bread. Whisk remaining two eggs and milk in a shallow dish. Carefully place sandwiches, one at a time, in the egg batter to coat, and flip to coat both sides.

Place sandwiches in skillet and cook over medium heat until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Gingerly flip sandwiches over and cook an additional 3-4 minutes until golden. Remove and cut in half. Serve with maple syrup, strawberry cream cheese, or your favorite preserves. Makes 4 sandwiches.


  1. I could make this for breakfast right now. Thanks for participating and good luck!

  2. I have girlfriends for holiday brunch tomorrow. This just might be what they get. It looks delis.

  3. Coming over from Around My Family Table to take a closer look. . . This sounds amazing! Pinned so I can add it to our Christmas week menus!

  4. Hi Sara,
    A Monte Cristo is one of my favorites and your Salty and Sweet version has got me drooling! I can't wait to make this. Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  5. Yum! 2 questions: ONE--Why do you not talk about your cooking accomplishments in person more often...since I rarely visit any blog...and TWO--When are you going to make ME a yummy MC? :)

  6. Wow! That looks so great! I am a huge fan of egg sandwiches. Can't wait to try this one out. Can you make the bread french toast before making the sandwich or will that make it too flimsy?

  7. No, you need to make the french toast part AFTER the sandwich is assembled - that way the cheese will melt and the ham will get warmed up.


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