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The Christo Hispanico sandwich -- The simple recipe

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

One of the most famed sandwiches is the French Croque Monsieur. With the occupation of Africa and the West Indies, this sandwich travelled and took on local meats and flavours including locally cured meats. However, the core stayed the same, ham and cheese.

In the US, the Monte Christo sandwich took on prominence in 1960 in Southern California. It is essentially the exact version of the Croque Monsieur but dipped in an egg batter and deep or pan-fried.

The Christo Hispanico travelled to Central and South America and took on local flavours again. here is a simple version, one where the sandwich is toasted and not deep-fried. The sandwich is rich and decadent enough on its own and I was not going to add the grease from the deep fryer to it.

This is a sandwich which is unique. It plays with the flavours of salt, sweet and savoury. The traditional sandwich could be interpreted as boring, but with the addition of the sweet marmalade, it turns lovely. I liked the combination of flavours.

This is a cookbook dedicated to one dish, filled with 39 recipes that are built to wow! Heidi Gibson has won 7 grilled cheese championships and owns a restaurant in San Francisco with her husband called American Grilled Cheese Kitchen. The recipes go from the simple to complex and all of them that I have cooked, or should I say grilled, have been fantastic.

For more recipes from this book, click here.


2 slices white bread, Japanese milk or brioche


2 honey-glazed ham slices

Gruyère cheese, 2 slices

2 tablespoons orange marmalade

Heat the broiler in the oven. Toast one side of the bread. Cool

On the toasted side apply a generous layer of butter. Top one slice with the ham and cheese. On the other bread apply the marmalade in a thick layer from crust to crust. lay on top of the cheese and press down gently.

Heat a large frying pan. add a dab of butter and allow to melt. add the sandwich on the pan, it will be the un-toasted side. Fry in the butter for 1 minute till browned. Remove, and add another dab of butter and fry the other side. Press down gently during frying.

Remove and cut the sandwich in half on the diagonal. Serve immediately while the cheese is still melted, garnished with some grated fruyère on top.

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