A delicious (oh, and fattening, too, but like we care, right?) sandwich created in San Francisco, California in the 1950s, this fantabulous work of food is now served in restaurants worldwide.

The following recipe, as best as I am able to determine, is the most historically accurate. Many upscale restaurants eschew tacky American cheese in favor of Swiss cheese or Gruyere. Debates also rage as to whether or not the sandwich should be dusted with powdered sugar just prior to serving (and mkb likes his with maple syrup). So be sure to adapt the following to suit your personal taste:



  • Spread mayo over 1 slice of bread, lightly
  • Top with 2 slices turkey, trimming meat so it doesn't hang over the edge of the bread
  • Spread mayo over both sides of 1 slice of bread, lightly, and place on top of turkey
  • Add 1 slice of cheese, and 2 slices of ham. Again, trim meat so it doesn't hang over the edge of the bread.
  • Spread mayo over 1 slice of bread, lightly, and place on top of ham, mayo side in.
  • Repeat above steps with remaining ingredients.
  • Cut each sandwich into 4 triangles.
  • Mix eggs and milk in bowl, heat oil in skillet.
  • Dip each triangle section into egg mixture, then fry in skillet til golden brown on all sides.
  • Repeat for all sections, adding more oil to the skillet as necessary.
  • Serve with sour cream and strawberry jam.
  • Serve it the Bennigan's way ... with a dusting of powdered sugar and raspberry jam! (thanks, drinkypoo!)


Every diner or restaurant has its own variation on the Monte Cristo; in fact, I've never seen a monte cristo like the one WolfDaddy describes. (mayonnaise?!?!) Here I attempt to give an idea of the range of variation. My monte cristos have mostly been eaten in Pennsylvania and New Jersey - maybe the mayo is a California thing?

Choose some or all of the following:

Sometimes the french toast is prepared ahead of time and later added to the sandwich; at other times, the sandwich as a whole may be cooked, something like a grilled cheese sandwich (but with egg, of course; also, I hear that sometimes it may be fried in a light batter coating). Two slices of french toast may be used, or sometimes three. Turkey and ham are standard; bacon is less common. One or two cheeses may be used.

My favorite so far is from the Edison Diner in New Jersey - turkey, ham, american, swiss, french toast, and raspberry jam. Some days, if the cook is in a good mood, it will also be served with powdered sugar.

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