Inspired by the magnificent Monte Cristo—a ham-andcheese sandwich that is battered and fried and then dusted with powdered sugar and served with maple syrup or jam. Marrying slightly dry slices of brioche loaf with a thick batter enriched with butter, vanilla, and flour yields both a nice, crisp and dry finish on the outside of the cooked sandwich and a perfect custardy consistency on the inside.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- One 1-lb brioche or challah loaf, cut into
- 8 thick slices
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 4 Tbsp salted butter (2 Tbsp melted, 2 Tbsp at room temperature)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp kosher salt 4 oz
- Brie or triple crème cheese, thinly sliced
- 8 ripe strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
- Beekman 1802 Whiskey Barrel Hickory Syrup (click here, or use your favorite)
- Prep Time: 10m
- Cook Time: 10m
- Total Time: 20m
1) Arrange the bread slices on a large baking sheet and let dry while preparing the other ingredients.
2) In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, melted butter, and vanilla. Add the granulated sugar, flour, and salt and whisk to combine. Scrape the batter into a shallow pan, such as a pie dish or cake pan. Set aside.
3) Heat a stove-top griddle pan or a large cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat, or heat an electric griddle to 350°F.
4) When the griddle is hot, nestle two slices of the bread in the batter and let soak for 5 seconds, then carefully flip and soak on the second side for another 5 seconds. Transfer the soaked breads to a clean plate. Melt ½ Tbsp of the room-temperature butter on the hot griddle and add both pieces of the soaked bread. Cook until the first sides are nicely browned and completely dry to the touch, about 3 minutes. Using a wide spatula, carefully turn the breads.
5) While the second sides are cooking, arrange one-fourth of the Brie and one-fourth of the strawberries on top of one piece of bread. When the second sides are nicely browned and the Brie is just softened, use the spatula and transfer the bread with the cheese and strawberries to a platter and gently place the other cooked bread on top. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and place in a low oven to keep warm. Repeat to cook and assemble the remaining sandwiches.
6) Place each sandwich on a plate, cut in half, if desired, dust with confectioners’ sugar, drizzle with the bourbon sauce, and serve immediately.
If you love grilled cheese as much as we do, check out Grilled Cheese Kitchen, click here