Better Homes & Gardens - - Food -

The Monte Cristo (a cross be­tween a ham-and-Swiss and French toast) of­ten comes with a side of jam for dip­ping. If you like, smear on a lit­tle of your fa­vorite straw­berry or rasp­berry jam along with the but­ter be­tween sand­wich lay­ers. Or try adding a few thin slices of ap­ple or pear for crunch and sweet­ness. hands-on time 30 min. to­tal time 1 hr. 15 min., plus overnight chill­ing

21/2 cups milk

8 eggs

3 cloves gar­lic, minced

1 1- to 11/2-lb. round loaf coun­try

Ital­ian bread, cut into ten

1/2-inchthick slices

1/4 cup Di­jon-style mus­tard

8 oz. thinly sliced cooked ham

6 oz. Gruyère or Swiss cheese, shred­ded (11/2 cups)

1/4 cup but­ter, soft­ened

Pow­dered sugar

1. Grease a 3-qt. bak­ing dish. In a large bowl whisk to­gether milk, eggs, gar­lic, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pep­per.

2. Spread half the bread slices with mus­tard then top with ham and half of the cheese. Spread re­main­ing bread slices with but­ter then place but­tered sides down on cheese. Cut each sand­wich di­ag­o­nally into four tri­an­gles. Ar­range points up in pre­pared bak­ing dish. Pour egg mix­ture over sand­wiches. Sprin­kle with re­main­ing cheese. Cover; chill overnight.

3. Pre­heat oven to 350°F. Un­cover dish. Bake 35 min­utes or un­til golden and egg mix­ture is set. Re­move. Let cool 10 min­utes. Sprin­kle with pow­dered sugar. Makes 12 serv­ings. each serv­ing 319 cal, 17 g fat, 170 mg chol, 804 mg sodium, 23 g carb, 1 g fiber, 5 g sug­ars, 17 g pro.

Op­po­sites at­tract in this casse­role twist on a clas­sic diner sand­wich, the Monte Cristo.A layer of rich egg-soaked bread con­trasts a crispybrown top, and pow­dered sugar is a sweet foil to saltyham and cheese.

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