Ahhh, the Monte Cristo. How wonderful to serve this dish for breakfast or brunch on the weekends. This extravagant jewel is traditionally made with 2 slices of white bread, ham, turkey and a slice of cheese. It’s dipped in eggs and fried in gobs of butter. Finally, topped with jam and powdered sugar. One big problem-It has a ton of fat and calories. In fact, this deliciously decadent sandwich normally has 1122 calories and 69 grams of fat! This skinnier version has the same great taste but contains 470 calories, 8 grams of fat and 13 Blue WW Freestyle SmartPoints, and 14 Green. If you’re looking to cut the calories and fat, half of the sandwich is still very satisfying.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Ingredients for Sandwich:
4 slices Milton’s multi-grain bread or your favorite, see shopping tips
4 ounces thinly sliced turkey breast, see shopping tips
2 slices lean ham or turkey ham, thinly sliced, see shopping tips
4 teaspoons reduced-sugar blackberry, boysenberry, or your favorite preserves or jam (I love Trader Joe’s reduced sugar jams)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon reduced-fat butter or reduced-fat spread such as Smart Balance Light
4 egg whites
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Ingredients for Topping:
4 teaspoons reduced-sugar blackberry, boysenberry or your favorite preserves or jam
4 teaspoons powdered sugar
1. To make the sandwich- Spread the outside of 4 slices bread with 1 teaspoon butter each. Flip bread over and spread each inside with 1 teaspoon of preserves or jam.
2. Layer the turkey, ham, and cheese on the 2 slices of bread spread with preserves. Place remaining 2 slices on top to form sandwiches. The buttered sides should be on the outside.
3. Using a shallow bowl, whip together egg whites, and vanilla.
4. Dip each sandwich into the egg mixture, flip over and dip on another side (just like making French toast)
5. In a non-stick pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Place dipped sandwiches in pan and grill over medium heat for approx 3 minutes on each side. Cook until golden brown. Remove from heat.
6. To make topping-Spread the top of each sandwich with 1 teaspoon preserves and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
7. Cut each in half and plate. You’ll need a fork and knife to eat this sandwich. Serve with a cup of fresh berries or sliced melon.
Makes 2 sandwiches. It’s so satisfying, it can serve 4, each with ½ sandwich.
Some food historians think the Monte Cristo is a variation of a French sandwich called Croque Monsieur, which is basically a grilled ham and cheese. Although there are no documents to verify it, many feel the Monte Cristo was first served in Southern California in the 1950s. Disneyland in Anaheim, California also contributed to the trend of eating the Monte Cristo. It first appeared in 1966 on the menu of their Blue Bayou and Tahitian terrace restaurants in the New Orleans Square. They still serve it today.
My favorite bread is Milton’s multi-grain bread. Most supermarkets sell it along with Trader Joe’s and Costco.
Look for turkey breast and ham that’s uncured with no nitrites. It’s so much healthier. Most supermarkets sell these along with Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.
To prepare several sandwiches- preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cook 2-4 sandwiches at a time depending on your pan size. Place the grilled sandwiches on a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while the rest are being cooked.
WW Freestyle SmartPoints 13-Blue
WW SmartPoints 14-Green
WW POINTS PLUS 11
|SKINNY FACTS: for 1 sandwich
470 calories, 8g fat, 2g sat. fat, 49mg chol, 37g prot., 63g carbs, 7g fiber, 1245mg sod, 27g sugar
|FACTS: for Freestyle SmartPoints
373 calories, 2g sat fat, 20g protein, 25g sugar