I’m not sure about you, but with the new work-from-home (WFH) setting, the need to handle both cooking chores and work may be a dread. I foresee myself maximising the sandwich combinations I know of, falling back on the holy trinity of sandwiches—ham, cheese, and egg to make a filling meal or savoury snack.
While our dear ham & cheese sandwich can do no wrong, it does tastes a bit one-dimensional sometimes. So, here’s a perfect upgrade: the Monte Cristo sandwich, an egg-dipped and pan- or deep-fried version of your basic grub which first graced the menus of French cafes as a quick snack.
- 3 slices of bread
- 2 slices of ham
- 2 slices of cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup milk
- Breadcrumbs (optional, can be homemade/store-bought)
- Frying pan/Skillet
Preparation time: 10 minutes; Cooking time: 10 minutes
- Assemble sandwiches, placing a slice of ham and cheese each on bread, repeat the same order. Slightly compress the sandwiches.
- Cut off the crust of the sandwiches.
- Beat egg and milk in a small bowl.
- Coat the stacked sandwich in the egg mixture.
- (Optional) Coat the sandwich with breadcrumbs.
- Add 1-2 inches of oil to frying pan over medium heat. If you’re using a cast-iron skillet or nonstick pan, preheat it over medium heat.
- Dip the coated Monte Cristo sandwiches in oil and fry till golden brown.
- Drain the oil from the sandwiches and serve after cooling.
Recipe in pictures
Step 1: Assemble sandwiches, place a slice of ham and cheese on top of a slice of bread. Repeat the same order and top off with a slice of bread. Slightly compress the sandwiches. Be careful not to layer your sandwich with too many slices of bread as it will be too heavy to fry with ease.
Step 2: Cut the crusts off all the sides of the bread.
Step 3: Beat the egg and milk in a small bowl, and mix well.
Step 4: Coat the stacked sandwich evenly in the egg mixture. Make sure to coat the sides of the sandwich.
Step 5: (Optional) For an added crunch to your Monte Cristo, coat the sandwich in breadcrumbs. Make sure to coat the sides of the sandwich as well.
Step 6: Add 1-2 inches of oil to frying pan over medium heat. Dip the coated sandwiches in oil and fry till golden brown.
Step 7: Drain the oil from the sandwiches and serve after cooling.
If you’re craving a sweet and savoury combination, sprinkle some powdered sugar or drizzle maple syrup over the sandwich. Have a bite while it’s hot and relish in the moreish layers of ham and cheese encased within the crispy bread. If you’re an ASMR fan, this version of the Monte Cristo coated with breadcrumbs certainly hits the spot, which a crunch in every bite.
Interestingly, before Monte Cristo became a gourmet sandwich in cafes and bread shops in Singapore today, it was a common childhood snack in the eighties of Singapore—albeit with slight variations in the recipe. Or so my mom says, as she chomps on the freshly fried sarnie. I guess that’s the beauty of sandwiches; its versatility and timelessness make it an unrivalled go-to snack or meal.
Staying home doesn’t mean you have to fall back on your usual timeworn recipes. Switch things up with your toasties, and you’ll be surprised.
Expected damage: S$1 – S$2 per portion