With Bastille Day on the horizon last month, French mustard brand Maille asked Rosie Birkett to create a couple of French inspired recipes to celebrate the 14th July.

Maille is a staple in Sunday Times columnist Rosie’s cupboard, so it was a match made in heaven.

Rosie created a Croque Monsieur with Maille bechamel + Poached sea trout with sauce gribiche. We’ve tried both….WOW! Recipe for the cracking croque is below.

Croque Monsieur

Serves 2

15g butter
1 bay leaf
15g flour
150ml milk
1 tbsp milk
1 tbsp Maille dijon mustard
40g grated gruyere
4 slices of brioche or sourdough
4 slices of ham
4 slices/50g grated emmental or comté

Cornichons, to serve

In a saucepan, melt the butter with the bay leaf and a good grind of white pepper. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon and toast for a moment, until you form a roux which smells nutty.

Gradually pour in the milk and use a whisk to combine it with the roux and whisk out any lumps. Cook it, whisking, for about 5-8 minutes, or until you have a smooth, thick sauce. If it’s too thick or gloopy add a splash of water or milk to loosen, then stir in the mustard and season with nutmeg and a pinch of salt.

Add in the grated cheese and stir it over the heat to melt it in, then set aside once smooth.

Heat the grill to high and grill two of the brioche slices on both sides until golden – they grill fast so keep an eye on them. Grill the other slices on one side, until golden. Spread both double toasted slices on one side with a smear of dijon, then top with the sliced ham, followed by the sliced cheese and a tablespoon or so of the sauce, spreading it out to cover the cheese, then grill until the sauce is bubbling.

Top with the other slices of brioche, toasted side down. Place them in a shallow roasting tray and cover the top of each slice with a generous helping of the remaining bechamel. Top with a little extra grated cheese of your choice and grill until bubbling, golden and oozing. Serve with cornichons or a sharply dressed green salad to cut through.