I learned to make a simple version of these Monte Cristo Panini’s way back in High School when I worked at The Whistling Tea Kettle. I’ve made and remade a number of their recipes in my own way since working there, but this one has been by far the house favorite. I mean they are dipped in maple syrup after all!
When Old World Naturals first sent me a selection of their deli meats, I immediately knew this sandwich was going on the menu. The combination of turkey, ham, and swiss is pretty amazing on its own, but then a light slathering of honey mustard really ties them together. The maple dip just adds a layer of sweetness that takes this sandwich into a whole new realm of deliciousness. One thing I have also done, that has been a crowd pleaser is to make a mini version of these sandwiches with spicy mustard instead. Once the maple is added this gives the sandwich a really cool sweet-spicy edge, that is perfect for a party appetizer.
Traditionally Monte Cristo’s use egg dipped bread, and are served with preserves, but here there is just a light egg wash and no preserves. Using a quick egg wash makes clean up a bit easier, and the whole sandwich making process faster. It also means the bread retains a bit of crunch when grilled, instead of that soggy french toast thing you usually end up with. The preserves are still fine to serve here, especially raspberry preserves or melba sauce. However, I think the maple syrup is more akin to what you expect here in the northeast. Also, Chuck LOVES maple syrup.
P.S. See this mango wood cutting board? It comes from a local to me company Darn Good Yarn that does some amazing things to bridge the gap and offer sustainability, and fair jobs to people around the globe. They are doing some good work over there, and offering some really cool products, from handspun yarn to really cool sari skirts! Check them out!
Easy Monte Cristo Panini
- 4 slices French bread
- 1 tablespoon honey mustard
- 2 ounces sliced deli ham
- 2 ounces sliced swiss cheese
- 2 ounces sliced deli turkey
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Maple syrup for dipping
- Place the slices of bread open on a work surface.
- Spread two of the slices with honey mustard. Then layer equal amounts of ham, Swiss cheese, and turkey onto each slice. Top with another slice of bread.
- Preheat a large skillet over high heat. While the skillet heats use a brush to brush the two tops of the closed sandwich until coated in egg.
- Melt half the butter in the skillet and place the sandwich in the pan, egg-washed side down. Let cook for 1-2 minutes or until browned slightly.
- Remove from pan, and brush the uncoated side with the egg wash.
- Melt the rest of the butter in the pan and place the sandwich with the newly egg-washed side down. Use a heavy pan to place on top of the sandwiches. This will press them into the traditional panini shape. Let cook for another 1-2 minutes or until browned.
- Serve immediately with maple syrup dip.
If you have a panini press you can simply egg wash both sides at once (skip the butter) and press. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes and serve.