In The Bender Kitchen: Volunteer Firefighter and Professional Chef Steve Eldridge

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut has more than 300 fire departments staffed by over 26,000 firefighters, and many of them are volunteers.

Volunteer Firefighter and Professional Chef Steve Eldridge shows us how to cook a Monte Cristo sandwich.


  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup light cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 8 slices sturdy white bread
  • 4 slices turkey
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  • 4 slices smoked ham
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup raspberry jam


Step 1

In a wide, shallow bowl, beat eggs and milk to combine. Lay a slice of bread on a work surface. Spread mayonnaise on one slice and mustard on the other and top with 1 slice turkey, 1 slice cheese, 1 slice ham and a second slice of bread. Slightly compress the sandwich. Repeat to assemble remaining sandwiches.

Step 2

Warm a large nonstick frying pan over medium/high heat. Melt butter. When butter sizzles, swirl pan to coat. Carefully dip each sandwich in egg mixture, turning to lightly coat both sides, and lay sandwiches in hot pan. Cook, turning once, until sandwiches are well-browned on both sides, 4 to 6 minutes total.

Step 3

To serve, cut sandwiches in half diagonally and sprinkle lightly with confectioners’ sugar, then pour maple syrup over the sandwich halves, or just serve with dollop of raspberry jam and enjoy!!


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