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Monte Cristo French Toast

This recipe is a breakfast version of the Monte Cristo sandwich, a favorite in French bistros. It is traditionally accompanied by jam or jelly for dipping. Here, we pair the French toast with orange apricot marmalade.

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. firmly packed light brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 slices country-style or homemade bread,
     each 1 1/2 inches thick
  • 8 thin slices ham
  • 4 thin slices Swiss or Gruyère cheese
  • 8 tsp. Sarabeth's orange apricot marmalade,
     plus more for serving*

Directions:

Preheat an electric panini maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, nutmeg, brown sugar and salt until blended. Pour into a shallow baking dish. Set aside.

Carefully cut a horizontal slit on one long side of each bread slice to create a pocket, keeping the other three sides intact. Stuff each with 2 slices ham, 1 slice cheese and 2 tsp. marmalade. Gently press down on the bread. Place the bread in the egg mixture and soak for 30 seconds per side.

If desired, lightly brush the panini maker with butter, or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place the bread on the preheated panini maker and cook according to the manufacturer's instructions until crisp and golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately with marmalade. Serves 4.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen

* Available at Williams-Sonoma stores.