Deep Fried Monte Cristo

Deep Fried Monte Cristo Sandwich cut in half and served with powdered sugar and Raspberry jam.

The Best Monte Cristo

If you’re a fan of a Grilled Ham and Cheese sandwich, you’re going to love the Monte Cristo. It’s, more or less, the French version, with the addition of sliced turkey, invented in the 1930’s and it’s fried and seasoned with confectioners sugar and served with Raspberry jam. There are many different versions of this sandwich, served around the globe at different diners. Some are battered and seared like French Toast, others are battered thicker and deep fried, instead. I’m going to show you how I make a Triple-Decker with these ingredients and a fresh new take on the batter for deep frying.

Tagged and bagged Mesquite Smoked Turkey and Sweet Smoked Ham.

Monte Cristo Meat and Cheese

When it comes to deli meats, I like them sliced thin. It’s just my personal preference. I use 4 slices of each per sandwich and I recommend using only 2 if you’re using thicker cuts. I purchase Mesquite Smoked Turkey and Sweet Smoked Ham for this recipe. It generally costs me around $5 dollars per lbs for each.

The Cheese used in this recipe calls for Swiss and Cheddar Cheese. Thanks to Covid-19, my kids school continued providing school lunches and they gave us a few blocks of Swiss Cheese and I purchased medium cheddar cheese, from my grocery store. You can change it up any way you like it but that’s the basic recommended recipe.

Monte Cristo Bread

I couldn’t find much on the specific type of bread used to make a Monte Cristo but, it is my understanding that this sandwich was inspired by the French Croque Monsieur. That sandwich uses Brioche, which is similar to a highly enriched pastry, which is light and slightly puffy.

In this recipe I chose to go with Sourdough bread because it makes excellent French Toast and I think it’s best for the Batter I’m making. An Artisan White is an amazing bread to use too, however, and it is great for grilling with melted butter but, I would only use this bread for this sandwich if I was using the basic egg and milk wash when pan frying.

The typical White Round Top loaf of bread is practical, cheap and commonly used as well. Usually the crusts are cut off to make it look more luxurious but it will work for a pan or deep fry. Just use what you have, though, and it will turn out great no matter what you choose!

Deep Fried Monte Cristo Sandwich, cut and stacked on top of each other.
Serving a Monte Cristo Sandwich

Many restaurants serve the Monte Cristo as more of a savory sandwich with the addition of Sweet for garnishment. This sandwich is covered inside with Mayonnaise on ever slice of bread and Mustard on only the top and bottom pieces and, once the sandwich is battered and deep fried, confectioners sugar is sprinkled over the top and served with Raspberry Jam.

A few additional ingredients grace the batter to make this recipe top notch. Like many French Toast recipes, I felt like it was appropriate to add some cinnamon, nutmeg, a pinch of cayenne and some orange zest. A good alternative, if you’re avoiding the sweeteners, use garlic and onion powder instead of the cinnamon and nutmeg.

Check out some of my other sandwich recipes: Grilled Ham and Cheese, Double Decker Grilled Cheese, Lobster Roll, Spicy Philly Cheesesteak, Reubon, Steak and Cheese Sandwich, Sloppy Joe.

Deep Fried Monte Cristo by PoorMansgourmet
Deep Fried Monte Cristo Ingredients:

Ingredients for 1 Sandwich
1 loaf Sour dough Bread, 3 slices per Sandwich
4 slices Smoked Ham, thinly sliced or 2 thick slices
4 slices Smoked Turkey, thinly sliced or 2 thick slices
1/4 cup Swiss Cheese, grated or 2 slices
1/4 cup Cheddar Cheese, grated or 2 slices
4 tbsp Mayonnaise
2 tsp Mustard

Batter for 2 Sandwich’s
1 cup Self Rising Flour
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/8 tsp Garlic Powder or Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Onion Powder or Nutmeg
pinch of Cayenne
Orange Zest
pinch of salt

1 inch Canoil Oil, for frying

Be sure to follow the instructions in the Deep Fried Monte Cristo video tutorial and fry the battered sandwich at 350° Fahrenheit for approximately 30 to 45 seconds, on each side, or until golden brown.

Spicy Philly Cheesesteak

Spicy Philly Cheesesteak sub sandwich.

The Best Philly Cheesesteak

One of the things that I’ve been surprised about getting from some of you is requests for sandwich recipes. I think that a sandwich isn’t that complicated and anyone can do it, basically, with out instruction. When it comes to a Philly Cheesesteak, however, I understand that everyone likes it the way they like it but don’t necessarily know how to replicate or duplicate their favorite sandwich from their local favorite sub shops. But, what I’m about to show you is a bit unconventional and unheard of. I’m going to make a Spicy Philly Cheesesteak that has the qualities of two different sandwich styles that you either love or love one more than the other.

Thinly sliced Premium Roast Beef from my local Deli.

What kind of Beef to use

First thing is simple and everyone can get from their local deli with out paying a grip for it and it’s just Premium Roast Beef. It’s roughly around $6 dollars per lbs. and I’ve purchased it, on sale, for $3.98 before. Most Cheesesteaks are made with Ribeye steak so, you can’t go wrong with this lunch meat, thinly sliced. The other major player and component to great sub is the roll. I buy Walmart’s 8″ sub rolls because they’re cheap, soft and tasty. Contrary to popular belief, they have an excellent bakery so don’t be afraid to pick up a six pack bag of sub rolls from Walmart.

If you’re ordering your Cheesesteak sandwich “With”, that means with sauteed onions, I recommend adding some diced Jalapeno peppers as well. This will take the sub to a whole new level and give the meat more spice.

El Mexicano Nacho Cheese sauce.

What about the Cheese

Cheese! Usually a steak and cheese sandwich is made with one of three cheeses; American, Provolone or Cheez Whiz cheese. The two famous rivals in Philadelphia, Pat’s and Geno’s, battle this one out between their customers constantly so, it’s more about preference really. Personally, I’m a fan of all three but for this recipe I’m going to recommend Swiss cheese and Nacho Cheese instead.

Swiss cheese, in my opinion, adds more depth to the flavor of the cheesesteak and gives it a little more bite. I’m a big fan of the mushroom and Swiss burgers, not to mention I love French Onion Soup, which is made with Swiss Gruyere cheese, so it only makes sense to use Swiss cheese. The Nacho cheese makes sense to me too because it’s processed cheese with a kick. I did label this sandwich “Spicy” and the Nacho cheese helps achieve that title. I’m only recommending, however, that you use El Mexicano’s brand for canned Nacho Cheese. It’s the best.

On a side note, there are two other steak sandwich’s that I have filmed and posted before, if you care to look at those as another option. Though I really enjoy those other recipes, this is my favorite among the three. Here’s my Steak and Cheese Sandwich and my original Philly Cheesesteak recipes.

Spicy Philly Cheesesteak video tutorial by PoorMansGourmet.
Spicy Philly Cheesesteak Ingredients:

1 lbs Premium Roast Beef, thinly sliced deli meat, 1/2 lb per sub
1 bag 8″ Sub Rolls
1 Onion, chopped 1/2 per sub sandwich
1 can Jalapeno, diced
1 can Nacho Cheese, 2 tbsp per sandwich
1 pkg Swiss Cheese, 2 slices per sub
2 tbsp Olive Oil, for frying
Salt and Pepper to taste

Follow the instructions in the Spicy Philly Cheesesteak video tutorial and I’ll show you exactly how easy this is to make.

Grilled Ham & Cheese Sandwich

Grilled Ham & Cheese with Black Forest Ham, Swiss and Mozzarella cheese.

The Best Ham & Cheese

I bet you didn’t think a Ham & Cheese sandwich couldn’t get any better but, I’m telling you, it can and it’s the little things that make all the difference. Really it’s all about personal preference but if you choose the right kind of bread, the right kind of ham and cheese, you can really make something special with just a few other trade secrets that I’m going to show you in this simple little recipe.

Black Forest Ham, thinly sliced from my local deli.

Black Forest Ham & Cheese

When you make a Ham & Cheese sandwich, do you get all serious about what you put in it or do you just quickly throw something together so you can eat? Personally, I’m not a big fan of ham, which is funny considering how much I love, just about anything, pork. I chose Black Forest Ham for this recipe but I think it would be just as good with about anything you decided to use as long as it wasn’t watered down and packed with unnatural alternative preservatives other than curing salt. Just kidding. I could probably make this sandwich with spam and be completely happy with it so, it’s up to you.

Mixed Mozzarella and Swiss Cheese.

Cheese in your Ham & Cheese

There are so many different kinds of Cheese in this world that they have to write books to describe them all. I know that some people like a sharp Ham & Cheese and there are some that like a Swiss. In this recipe I chose to go with Mozzarella, to make it more cheesey, and Swiss cheese for more flavor. I really think the two balance each other out.

Another thing I like to do is season the buttered bread. You can choose white, wheat, rye or even sour dough bread, if you prefer but I highly recommend using an all purpose seasoning, to season the sliced buttered bread, before grilling. All purpose seasonings usually have garlic and onion powders in them and a few earthy herbs as well so, they’re perfect to add more flavor. Technically, it’s now a garlic toast Grilled Ham & Cheese but I’m not too sure that anyone would think to google the name of that sandwich.

Other sandwich recipes to check out:

Reubon, Steak and Cheese, Philly Cheese Steak, Sloppy Joe’s, Double Grilled Cheese, Waffle Iron Grilled Cheese and my Grilled Egg and Cheese Sandwich.

Grilled Ham & Cheese Sandwich video tutorial.
Grilled Ham & Cheese Ingredients:

2 Slices of Bread
3 Slices of Ham
2 oz Mozzarella Cheese, grated
2 oz Swiss Cheese, grated
1 tbsp Butter, softened
All purpose seasoning to taste

Sauce
1 tbsp Mayonnaise
1 tbsp Ketchup
1/2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar

Follow the directions in the Grilled Ham & Cheese Sandwich video tutorial and I’ll show you exactly how to make it with these ingredients.