Monte Cristo Casserole
This casserole….where do I begin? First of all, I should say I’ve never been a fan of the label “casserole” for any dish because my mind instantly equates it to “Glorified Leftovers”…this casserole is NOT!
Think of this as the most delectable morsel of food you’ve ever encountered…well that may be going a bit far….change that to “the most delightful dish that could fit into any part of your day and therefore changing the course of time!” (That’s better!)
The taste is familiar, the time is minimal and the payoff is magical. It’s everything I want in a dish and it all begins with the simple sandwich. Making a sandwich is a craft…in fact it’s probably the only craft I could score an A plus grade! Don’t take this step lightly for it is the foundation of all that is holy in this dish!
Welcome to my corner…let’s craft!
Build your sandwiches in the following order…spread some Dijon mustard on one side of a piece bread. Delicately lay a couple slices of ham on top of the mustard stained bread. Top with two slices of Muenster cheese. Spread some cherry jam on one side of another piece of bread then top the sandwich cherry side down. Set aside and repeat! (I got about 6 sandwiches out of my one loaf of sourdough bread).
Slice each sandwich in half and set aside! In a medium sized bowl crack three eggs and beat them slightly with a whisk. Stir in some half and half, sprinkle with salt, pepper and a touch of nutmeg.
Now dip baby dip… each sandwich half into the custard mixture and place in a greased baking dish “shingle-style!”
Pour the remaining custard over the shingled sandwich halves and let sit overnight so that the bread can fully absorb the custard. You should be getting real excited right now. Brunch is practically at your fingertips and you won’t even break a sweat because we are planners baby…momma didn’t raise no fool!
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 and bake the casserole covered with aluminum for 30 minutes. Take off the aluminum cover and bake an additional 15 minutes uncovered or until golden brown (my oven took a little longer than that). Brown food is tasty food…so let it toast!
Slice and serve the sandwiches with your favorite hot sauce if desired. The smoky ham and gooey muenster cheese are perfectly complimented by the tartness of the cherry jam with the perfect zing from the Dijon…all packaged between two slices of sourdough bread…this is the best craft I’ve ever made!
- 1 loaf Sourdough Bread cut into ½ inch slices
- 1 lb Thinly sliced Deli Smoked Ham
- 1 lb Muenster Cheese, sliced
- ½ cup Dijon Mustard
- ½ cup Tart Cherry Jam
- 3 eggs
- 2 ½ Cups half and half
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp of freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Hot sauce (optional)
- Make ham and cheese sandwiches: spread some Dijon mustard on one side of a piece of bread, layer a couple of slices of ham on top of the mustard, add a couple slices of cheese, spread the cherry jam on another piece of bread then top the sandwich with the bread slice, cherry side down. Continue this process till all the sandwiches have been built (I got about 6 large sandwiches out of my loaf). Cut all the sandwiches in half. Grease a 9x13 baking dish with butter.
- In a separate bowl combine the eggs, half and half, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Dip each sandwich, front and back in the egg mix. Place each sandwich like shingles in the prepared baking dish. Pour the remaining custard over the sandwiches in the baking dish. Allow to sit overnight so that the bread will have the opportunity to soak in the custard really well.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the casserole covered with aluminum foil for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for 15 minutes more or until golden brown.
- Slice and serve the sandwiches with your favorite hot sauce if desired! Happy Brunching!