Bastille Day

the ingredients for the sandwich

Today is Bastille Day in France. Today they celebrate the storming of the Bastille and the beginning of the end for the Kings of France. So, what better way to celebrate than by making something French.

But what to make? Sweet or savory? Decisions, decisions. Brunch for dinner! It sounded great and since I am on a retro binge this was a no brainer. The Monte Cristo Sandwich. It’s the cross between French toast and hot ham and cheese. Eggs, cheese and bread, who doesn’t love that? 

Have you ever had one? Or when was the last time you made or ate one? I love the Croque Monsieur or Madame. This sandwich was not a stretch for me.

I had just finished making blackberry jam and had purchased cheese and the bread on my way back to the market. I was searching on the internet and discovered many things about this unassuming sandwich. The sandwich was popular in the 30’s up to the 60’s. There are many versions of the classic sandwich. It is also known and the French Sandwich, Toasted Ham and Cheese, or the French Toasted Cheese Sandwich. And as with the name it also has many renditions. Deep fried, three layers, open faced, some recipes call for powdered sugar and jam on the side. 

The Monte Cristo

I found and settled on the recipe from FOOD52 . The recipe calls for raspberry jam but since I had just made a fresh batch of blackberry jam I use what I had. I also only dipped on side of the bread in the egg mixture. It seemed too cumbersome to dip the whole sandwich in the egg mixture. One slice sweet with the blackberry and the other slice smeared with graining mustard.  

Monte Cristo Sandwich

Adapted from Food 52 

Raspberry jam (seeds ok)

Thinly sliced ham

Grated Gruyere cheese

Grainy brown mustard

1 egg

2 tablespoons of milk

1 pat of butter 

1. Hardily spread jam on one slice of bread. Pile on a neat heap of sliced ham and the grated cheese. Spread a lot of good spicy mustard on the piece of bread, then top off your sandwich with it.

2. In a shallow dish, whisk egg and milk together. Dip the sandwich into the mixture, making sure to coat both sides.

3. Heat the butter in a pan, swirling to coat the bottom. Fry the sandwich on both sides until golden brown and the cheese is all melty and perfect. Slice in half and chow down on the monster with reckless abandon.

Maybe if you  have spare fireworks from our Independence Day celebrations you pretend to be French for a day and celebrate  Bastille Day with fireworks and a sandwich.

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