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Bennigan's The Monte Cristo Copycat Recipe
Bennigan's The Monte Cristo
By Todd Wilbur

Recipe Type: Sandwich
Calories: 643
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Recipe Rating: 4.8 (5 reviews)

Menu Description: "A delicious combination of ham and turkey, plus Swiss and American cheeses on wheat bread. Lightly battered and fried until golden. Dusted with powdered sugar and served with red raspberry preserves for dipping."

It sounds crazy, but it tastes great: a triple-decker ham, turkey, and cheese sandwich is dipped in a tempura-style batter; fried to a golden brown; then served with a dusting of powdered sugar and a side of raspberry preserves. For over ten years tons of cloning requests for this one have stacked up at TSR Central, so it was time for a road trip. There are no Bennigan's in Las Vegas, and since the Bennigan's chain made this sandwich famous, I headed out to the nearest Bennigan's in San Diego. Back home, with an ice chest full of original Monte Cristo sandwiches well-preserved and ready to work with, I was able to come up with this simple clone for a delicious sandwich that is crispy on the outside, and hot, but not greasy, on the inside (the batter prevents the shortening from penetrating). This recipe makes one sandwich, which may be enough for two. If you want to make more, you'll most likely have to make more batter so that any additional sandwiches get a real good dunking. Recently, Bennigan's restaurants across the country have been closing, but with this secret formula you can still experience the taste of the chain's signature sandwich.

Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

8 to 12 cups vegetable shortening (or the amount required by your fryer)

Submitted on: 12/27/11
We tried this recipe tonight and loved it! Note to self: Next time make 1 sandwich and split it between 2 people! My ultra-picky kids tried a bite of mine and said it was "okay." From them, that's as good as a 5 star rating.
Submitted on: 11/03/08
I haven't tried this recipe but I do know that Bennigan's wraps their sandwiches tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerates them overnight to keep the sandwich firm while dipping. I only know this because my daughter used to work for Bennigan's for many years.
Tabitha & Wayne  
Submitted on: 01/23/06
These were awesome. This is a restaurant favorite of ours. We were a little skeptical when we read the recipe but it worked like a charm. Taste just like out of the restaurant. Thanks.
Sandy B  
Submitted on: 10/18/05
This is a favorite of mine, but with 4 kids can't afford to dine out very often- so simple to make and almost ideal to the restaurants! But I don't dip mine in jam, I dip it in pancake syrup...
Submitted on: 09/14/05
This is as close as it gets. Excellent and easy to make. Our all time favorite at Bennigan's.