What is Bastille Day?
If there is one event not to miss in Paris, it is the French national holiday! This festive occasion brings people together filled with 2 days of exceptional free entertainment: a military parade, an outdoor operatic concert, and most of all, breathtaking fireworks.
Every year, this world-class fireworks display is eagerly-awaited. For 30 minutes, the Eiffel Tower becomes the focus of a magical sound and light show – a dazzling sight for children and adults, Parisians and visitors.
If you’re not lucky enough to travel all the way abroad, we’re here to help you throw a fabulous party right in the comfort of your own home. Come and enjoy the show and experience some of the magic of Bastille Day in Paris!
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR FESTIVITIES:
Don’t store your festive 4th of July decor just yet! With Bastille Days colors a beautiful red, white and blue – your holiday must-have’s are just as fitting for this French celebration.
For our Bastille Day celebration, we wanted to host a small, quaint celebration. Also, because we live in Chicago, we have to take advantage of entertaining as much as possible outdoors. With that said, we created an intimate brunch filled with lots of festivity, French music, colorful decor and flowers and yummy eats.
WHAT TO PREPARE:
French Charcutterie Platter
Creating an elegant, tasty cheese platter is one of my favorite ways to entertain for guests. Here are a few tips on how to assemble a delectable French charcuterie platter for your guests this Bastille Day:
Dazzle your guests pallettes with a range of cheese choices. I suggest adding a cheese selection with different textures and flavor.
In our case, we stuck with a cheese selection from several regions of France. Serve about three ounces of cheese per guest. Include hard and soft cheeses as well as mild and strong flavors. Make sure to include different milk types – like goat cheese, a sheep’s milk cheese and a classic cow’s milk cheese. Include a bleu cheese and something extra creamy, too – like Ile de France Saint-Agur and Saint-André – to ensure maximum variety.
If you’re shopping here in the US, you can find Ile de France cheese selections at your local Whole Foods,
Select A Variety of Cured Meats.
Select at least two or three different types of cured meats. Try and make sure the meats have different textures. Think the Plan for about 2-3 ounces of meat per person. Great options include smoked salmon, prosciutto, lean smoked pork and
Fruits & Veggies
Add in some acidity via some pickled vegetables or berries to neutralize any strong flavors. Adding in grapes, apricots and cranberries are our favorites and always seem to win over guests, as well. Other options include apples, pears, figs, radishes and carrots.
Make sure to provide fresh bread, artisan crackers and extras like bread sticks for both extra added texture but also as a vehicle for the rest of the ingredients.
France has possibly the best wines in the world, and a huge variety. So go on, make the most of it, and splash out and get a good bottle or two. Here are a few of the wines I chose, straight from the hills of France to compliment our Bastille Day celebration:
- Saget La Perrière Marie de Beauregard Chinon
- Saget La Perrière La Petite Perrière Rose
- George Duboef Beaujolais Selection (see their Instagram page for lots of great inspiration!)
Food tastes better if it looks good. Do put in a bit of effort and make it look nice and organized. Tip: the fruit and meats can often time add lots of great, appealing colors which y’all know I love.
Cheese & Spinach Quiche
Make an easy and delicious cheese and spinach quiche for breakfast or brunch using fresh spinach and flavor-packed ingredients. This recipe makes excellent leftovers for lunch or dinner, too!
Pre-made pie crust (store bought)
1(10 oz.) box frozen spinach
1 teaspoon minced garlic (or roasted & chopped)
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded cheese (I have also added blue cheese, mushrooms & sun dried for added flavor)
A pinch of La Baleine Sea Salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Drain the spinach in a colander while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Carefully place the dough into a 9-inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth. With a small and sharp knife, trim the extra overhang of crust and discard.
While the pie crust is pre-baking, whisk together the eggs, milk, and parmesan cheese until combined. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Blot and squeeze the rest of the water out of the thawed spinach.
Pour the egg mixture on top. If desired, sprinkle the top lightly with more parmesan cheese and/or salt and pepper.
Bake the quiche until it is golden brown on top and the center is no longer jiggly. Depending on your oven, this will take anywhere between 45 minutes – 1 hour. Mine took 50 minutes.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. This quiche makes great leftovers! Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
The cream puff is the Eiffel Towel of Parisian pastries: iconic, beloved, and displayed everywhere. The recipe is so irrefutably timeless that even Pierre Hermé, France’s most famous (and endlessly innovative) pastry chef, still uses the formula he learned as a 14-year-old apprentice.
MAKES ABOUT 16 SERVINGS
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon La Baleine Salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
6 large eggs
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
Berries of choice
Powdered Sugar (for dusting)
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Fit 1 large pastry bag (or a plastic freezer bag with 1/2-inch cut from one bottom corner) with plain 1/2-inch tip.
Bring milk, butter, 1 tsp. sugar, salt, and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a medium sauce- pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add flour all at once; reduce heat to medium-low.
Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until a dough forms and pulls away from sides of pan, 1–2 minutes. Continue beating vigorously until a thin dry film forms on bottom and sides of pot, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl.
Add 1 egg and stir vigorously with wooden spoon until egg is incorporated and dough looks dry again, about 2 minutes. Repeat with 4 more eggs, adding one at a time and stirring vigorously to incorporate before adding the next. Dough should be smooth, shiny, and thickened.
Spoon dough into prepared pastry bag; pipe out 2 1/2-inch-diameter rounds on pre- pared sheets, leaving 2 inches between rounds.
DO AHEAD: Freeze the piped dough rounds on the baking sheets, then transfer to resealable plastic bags and freeze for up to 1 month. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spacing apart (do not defrost) before continuing with recipe.
Arrange racks in upper and middle thirds of oven and preheat to 450°. Whisk remaining egg with 2 tsp. water and brush dough rounds all over with egg wash.
Transfer baking sheets to oven; turn oven off. After 10 minutes, heat oven to 350° and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate pans front to back and top to bottom; continue baking until deep golden brown all over, about 10 minutes longer (puffs will deflate if removed from oven before fully baked). Transfer puffs to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Using a serrated knife, gently slice the top quarter off each puff; transfer tops to a plate. With your finger, gently push down the soft film of cooked dough inside each puff.
Prepare a second pastry bag (or freezer bag) with 1/2-inch open-star tip. Beat heavy cream and remaining 2 Tbsp. sugar in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Spoon whipped cream into prepared pastry bag. Fill each puff with cream, finishing with a generous ring of cream on top. Dust tops of cream puffs with powdered sugar; place atop puffs.
How do you celebrate Bastille day?