If you’ve ever been to Mama’s in San Francisco, you know how damn good a Monte Cristo sandwich can be. You also know how long it can take to get it (this morning’s wait was a measly hour and a half). SO rather than have to shower and drive across the city to wait in line in the cold, I decided to figure out for once and for all, how to make that glorious sandwich. (The Food Network recipe that supposedly comes from Mama’s is a sham! Don’t be duped. They simplified it - just smoked gouda and turkey! Bah!) And since my momma always taught me caring is sharing, I’m including my recipe so you can enjoy too! Happy brunching!

Monte Cristo Sandwich Recipe

Makes 8 mini sandwiches (enough to stuff 2 people, probably enough to sate 3 people)


  • 6 pieces of sliced bread (white bread is preferred, although you can use whatever you like)
  • ¼ lb smoked turkey (from a deli counter)
  • ¼ lb honey ham (from a deli counter)
  • A few slices of gruyere (I used smoked gruyere, which was tasty)
  • A few slices of sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • Butter (for skillet)
  • A scoop or two of your favorite berry jam (don’t skip this - it perfectly complements the other flavors and creates the perfect balance of sweet and savory in this dish)


  1. Start with 2 pieces of bread side by side. Cover each slice with a layer of gruyere. Add a slice of smoked turkey on top of the gruyere. Then add a layer of ham. Cover with another slice of bread. Add a layer of sharp cheddar cheese, followed by a layer of turkey and then ham. Top each stack off with the last slice of bread.
  2. Insert a few toothpicks in each sandwich stack so that they don’t fall apart when you cut them. Cut the crusts off the stack.
  3. Then cut each sandwich stack into quarters. At this point, if you’re not dying for your Monte Cristos you can wrap the sandwiches and stick them in the fridge for 30 mins to a few hours. The refrigeration should prevent the bread from absorbing too much of the egg wash, although I skipped this step and it turned out just fine.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the milk and eggs together to create an egg wash for the sandwiches. Dip each mini sandwich (held together by the toothpicks) in the egg wash. Make sure the sandwiches are fully covered with egg goodness but don’t soak them for too long (otherwise the bread will get soggy).
  5. Put some butter into a frying pan on medium-high heat. When it gets hot, put the egg-dipped sandwiches in the pan and rotate as each side turns nice and brown. Once all the other sides are cooked (and therefore sealed), you can carefully take out the toothpick and cook the top and bottom of the sandwiches.
  6. Once the sandwiches are cooked and good to go, sprinkle powdered sugar over them and serve them with a nice dollop of berry jam. Enjoy!