Monte Cristo Sandwiches

Turn your leftover holiday turkey or ham into a real treat with this sandwich.

by Lori Rice
PHOTO: Lori Rice

Warm deli meat and melty cheese are enclosed in a rich batter that becomes perfectly puffed and browned after deep frying. When paired with jam, it becomes the best of sweet and salty flavor combinations.

Yield: 4 servings (8 mini sandwiches)




  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 3 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • powdered sugar for dusting sandwiches (optional)



Top two slices of bread each with one cheese slice, two slices turkey or ham, and second cheese slice. Place remaining slices of bread on top of each sandwich.

Press sandwiches firmly with your hands, smashing them slightly. Cut each sandwich into quarters so you have eight pieces. Gently pinch crust together on all sides. It does not have to be sealed, but the more firmly the sandwiches are pinched, the better they hold together when dipped into batter. Place sandwiches in refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes.


In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. In separate bowl, whisk together egg and water. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients. Stir until combined.

In deep, 3- to 4-quart Dutch oven or similar-sized pot or pan, heat oil to 350 degrees F. Dip one sandwich quarter in batter. Turn to coat all sides and allow excess to drain. Carefully place sandwich in hot oil. Cook about 2 minutes, flipping halfway through to brown evenly.

Remove sandwich from oil with skimmer or slotted spoon. Transfer to paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with remaining sandwiches.

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Sprinkle sandwiches with powdered sugar before serving if desired. Serve warm with Spiced Vanilla Fig Jam.

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