John and Kendall Antonelli's "Straight off the Toddler's Hand, if Necessary" Monte Cristo Strata

Category: 
Main Courses

This recipe calls for Gruyère, and there are a lot of Gruyères available. The Antonellis often use the 1655 Le Crêt Gruyère, or substitute with an Alpine-style cheese such as Pleasant Ridge Reserve (from Uplands Cheese Company in Wisconsin). For the meat, use any type of ham, but the Antonellis prefer Surryano ham, shaved thin. But they’ve also used La Quercia Speck Americano, which gives the strata a smokier flavor. For the bread, the Antonellis suggest Easy Tiger’s pain au levain, and if you’re not a fan of tarragon, substitute with another seasonal herb.

Easy

John and Kendall Antonelli's "Straight off the Toddler's Hand, if Necessary" Monte Cristo Strata

Ingredients

For 4 Person(s)

Recipe

  • Softened Butter
  • 1 1/4 pounds loaf bakery white bread, sliced , divided
  • 1/4 cups grainy mustard, divided
  • 1 pounds Surryano ham, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon, divided
  • 3/4 pounds Gruyere, shredded (about 3 cups), divided
  • 3 cups milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

John and Kendall Antonelli's "Straight off the Toddler's Hand, if Necessary" Monte Cristo Strata Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° and butter a 9-by-13-inch dish.
  2. Arrange ¹/³ of the bread in the bottom of the dish and spread ½ of the mustard on top.
  3. Top with ½ of the ham, 1 T. of the tarragon and ¹/³ of the Gruyère cheese.
  4. Repeat the layering, ending with the bread on top and reserving the last third of cheese.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and the eggs and season with the black pepper.
  6. Pour the custard evenly over the dish—pressing the bread to absorb the liquid.
  7. Add the remaining cheese on top and cover with a sheet of buttered parchment.
  8. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes.
  9. Remove the parchment, turn on the broiler and broil for 3 minutes until golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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