Saturday, July 13, 2013

Bonne Fete Nationale!

La Fête Nationale ou, le quatorze juillet! In English known as Bastille Day or the 14th of July. I suppose we could say that it is the French Independence day, it is a day symbolizing the rise of the modern nation of France.

All history aside, what we miss so much about France, specifically Paris, is not only the art, the life, the people, it is the food, specifically French bistro food. The croque monsieur is the king of French bistro food, first appearing on menus in 1910 as a quick bar snack. This sandwich goes beyond your mother’s ham and cheese sandwich and elevates it with gooey gruyere, Dijon, and a slathering of béchamel.

Make this sandwich, drink some rose, and watch some firework, and Bonne Fête Nationale!
Ingredients: makes 2 or 4 small ones
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 ½ Tablespoons flour
1 cup hot milk
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ Lb ham (any sweet smokey ham) not too thin
¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Pinch nutmeg
6 oz grated gruyere
¼ grated parmesan
4 slices sourdough bread
Whole grain mustard

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Toast the bread by placing the slices down on a baking sheet and put in oven. Toast 5 minutes, then flip the slices and toast another 3.

In a small sauce pan, melt butter on low heat. Once melted, add flour and stir for about 2 minutes.

Next slowly add hot milk while constantly whisking, until it has thickened, about 3-4 minutes. Take off the heat and add the salt, pepper, pinch of nutmeg, ¼ cup of gruyere, and all of the parmesan. Mix and let sit.

To assemble the sandwich spread whole grain mustard on two slices of bread, next lay the ham and sprinkle with half of the left over gruyere. Lay another piece of bread, and smother with cheese sauce and top with remaining cheese.

Bake in oven for 5 minutes, and then turn the broiler on and broil for another 5 minutes, or until the cheese has browned.

Voila! Eat alone, or you can serve with some Dijon on the side, and some cornichon pickles to balance out the rich creamy cheese!


  1. Hi I'm not sure if I'm missing it but I can't seem to see what temperature you have the oven on? This looks incredible!!

    1. Thanks so much! It is pretty tasty! Thank you for letting me know the temperature was left out! I will update it, slipped through the editing cracks!

  2. The recipe is missing the bread and it's a little hard to follow

    1. At the way bottom of the ingredients we ask for 4 slices of sourdough! If there is anything we can do to help make the recipe easier for you to follow, let us know!

  3. This sounds yummy. Will make a quick snack for my kids and me!

  4. Hi - how much parmesan? 1/4 cup? Thanks!!

  5. Oh yes! Thanks! I didn't even catch that.

    F &M

    1. I made this, and it was amazing. Better than the croque monsieurs we have at restaurants in NYC, and we order them all the time. Thank you!

    2. Wow! Thank you so much, that is always a wonderful thing to hear!

      F & M

  6. The croque looks fab!' Must have tasted so good :).