The Mailbox: A reader seeks a Monte Cristo sandwich recipe

Monte Cristo sandwich

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 11/2 minutes

Serves 1

Janice Goehring of Gridley heard about the Monte Cristo sandwich and wanted to know how it was made.

Many believe the Monte Cristo sandwich is a variation of Croque Monsieur, a French version of a grilled cheese sandwich using Gruyere cheese and ham between two slices of crustless bread, fried in clarified butter. This sandwich was served in a Paris cafe in 1910.

Today's version is deep fried, although many prefer to fry their Monte Cristo in butter after dipping it in whipped eggs, like French toast. You may vary the type of bread you use. Try Hawaiian bread or egg bread for a delicious variation. You can also use your favorite fruit preserve; strawberry or currant are popular alternatives to wild berry.

This recipe was featured in my first column as the new Mailbox columnist, October 18, 1995. It was originally requested by Harriet Gall whose granddaughter was interested in learning how to make it. The recipe was given to me by Walt Cheval, manager of Fulton’s Prime Rib in Old Sacramento at that time. It was one of their more popular dishes.


3  slices white bread

One 2-ounce slice ham

One 2-ounce slice turkey

2  slices Swiss cheese

2  whipped eggs

Canola oil for frying

Powdered sugar

Wild berry preserves


On one slice of bread, place the slice of ham, then one slice of Swiss cheese. Place the second slice of bread on top of cheese. Top with the slice of turkey and the other slice of cheese. Top with the third slice of bread.

Trim off the crusts and slice the sandwich in half diagonally.

Insert a long toothpick in each half. Dip each half of the sandwich into the whipped eggs.

Heat the oil in a deep fryer and drop each half into the oil. Let the halves fry for 40 seconds on each side. Remove halves from the oil, remove the toothpicks. Sprinkle the tops of each sandwich with powdered sugar and serve with wild berry preserves.

Per serving: 1,152 cal.; 59 g pro.; 92 g carb.; 57 g fat (14 sat., 30 monounsat., 13 polyunsat.); 541 mg chol.; 2,122 mg sod.; 48 percent calories from fat.


If you have recipes in reply to Mailbox reader requests, or questions or comments, write to: Mailbox, c/o Taste, The Sacramento Bee, P.O. Box 15779, Sacramento, CA 95852. You also can email or fax (916)  321-1109. Please include your full name, your city and phone number.