- 1/2 pound deli-sliced French-style (mild) ham, coarsely chopped
- 1 rounded tablespoon Dijon mustard, plus more to pass at table
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- A few small sprigs of parsley
- 3 tablespoons grated onion
- Black pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter, plus a few dabs to cook eggs
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- Salt and pepper
- Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
- 4 hand-cut 3/4-inch-thick slices brioche or white bread
- 16 thin asparagus spears, blanched, shocked and dried
- 2 cups Gruyère cheese, grated
- 4 extra-large organic eggs
- Cornichons, to pass at table
Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
Place the ham in the bowl of a food processor with the mustard, Tabasco, paprika, parsley sprigs, grated onion and a few grinds of pepper. Process until very finely chopped and combined.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Thicken to coat a spoon.
Arrange the bread on a baking sheet and spread the deviled ham evenly over the slices. Top each with four asparagus spears, then cover with the béchamel sauce and some cheese. Transfer to the oven and bake until golden.
Cook the eggs to your liking and top each sandwich with an egg. Serve with a few cornichons and extra Dijon mustard at the table.