With a name like Grilled Cheese Kitchen, how could you not pick up a copy of husband-and-wife duo Heidi Gibson and Nate Pollak’s brand-new book? Packed with gooey, melty recipes from their insanely popular San Francisco sandwichery, this is one culinary volume for everyone, from picky kids to adventurous adults, and every grilled cheese lover in between. Fire up the griddle: This is going to be a good one!

Inspired by the magnificent Monte Cristo — a ham-and-cheese sandwich that is battered and fried and then dusted with powdered sugar and served with maple syrup or jam — I experimented with different breads, flavorings, fruits, cheeses, and garnishes to make a French toast–style sandwich that is uniquely ours. For the essential bread itself, I found that marrying slightly dry slices of brioche loaf with a thick batter enriched with butter, vanilla, and flour yields both a nice, crisp and dry finish on the outside of the cooked sandwich and a perfect custardy consistency on the inside.

Following are three of our favorite variations for this fabulous assembly — merely a hint at the wide range of different sweet and savory fillings that can make for a very sophisticated brunch sandwich.

Reprinted with permission from Grilled Cheese Kitchen