And then I had a vision.
(Bear with me. That’s the closest picture I have to what I imagine a vision might look like.)
What if I took all the fabulous elements of a Monte Cristo…the ham, the turkey, the cheese, the bread, the egg batter…and just rearranged them a little? Into a mixture of ham chunks and sliced turkey and shredded Swiss cheese and cubes of bread, all soaked in a mixture of eggs and milk and cream, and then baked?
Heck, without the whole frying part, this was even HEALTHY! Er. Healthi-ER. Than the fried Monte Cristo sandwich. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Anyway, this little dish of heaven that I have christened Monte Cristo Bread Pudding is a quick mixture of all those ingredients above. I scattered a few bread cubes in the bottom of some individual baking dishes, then put cubed ham, some shredded cheese and some sliced turkey on top of the bread (you could definitely use cubed turkey as well if that’s what you have on hand.) I covered all this with another layer of bread cubes. Then I mixed up some eggs with a little cream and milk and pepper and poured it over the bread mixture. Then I covered the dishes with plastic wrap and popped them into the fridge for a few hours so everything could get nice and soaked through.
When suppertime rolled around I sprinkled the top with a little more cheese and baked them for about 30 minutes until things were looking nice and golden. Now, if you want the FULL Monte Cristo experience, you could sprinkle yours with a little confectioner’s sugar and serve them with some raspberry jam on the side, since that’s often how the sandwich is served. In all my excitement I forgot about that part, and so we dove into ours as is.
Which means I need to make them again soon so I can try them with the sugar and the jam. Which means I need to make ham with red-eye gravy and grits again soon.
It’s a never-ending circle.
Savory French Toast BLT from Framed Cooks
Turkey Monte Cristo Panini from Panini Happy
Prosciutto, Apple and Brie Monte Cristo from Fine Cooking