The classic Monte Cristo is not French, nor Italian, as the name suggests. In fact, the sandwiches were first served up in the good ol’ USA.
(Fuckin’ cultural appropriation, am I right?)
Sometime around the mid-1900’s, someone decided to revamp the Croque Monsieur for American consumption. The result was a diner-deli love child. Part eggy breakfast dish, part savory meatwich, all an artery-clogging taste bud party.
The Monte Cristo is like a kid food for grownups. It’s disguising itself as a refined dish, but really it’s not much more than melted cheese on a mass of dough.
I mean that in the most flattering way possible. Some of the greatest dishes out there- pizza, quesadillas, pierogis, empanadas- are basically the same concept.
You can now add Monte Cristos to the list.
That being said, this recipe doesn’t use “real” cheese nor “real” ham. Did you expect any less from me?
I’ll hop of the soapbox now and let you get to the recipe. Hope you enjoy!
- 2 slices whole grain bread (I used Ezekiel)
- 2-3 slices vegan ham
- 1-2 slices vegan cheese
- 1/2 tbs. vegan mayonnaise
- 1/2 tbs. mustard
- 1 egg (or vegan egg replacement)
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tbs. blackberry jam
- Build your sandwich (cheese, ham, mustard and mayo on bread- in whatever fun order you like!)
- In small bowl, whisk together egg (or egg replacement) and black pepper
- Dredge the sandwich in the egg mixture until fully coated (i.e. soggy)
- Meanwhile, start to heat greased frying pan on medium-high
- Place sandwich in pan and cook for about 5 minutes, until browned, crispy & sizzling
- Flip and repeat on other side
- Remove from heat, slice in half and serve with a side of jam and cornichons