NEW ORLEANS - Over the course of its 300-year history, New Orleans’ cuisine has been one of its greatest gifts to the world. Now, as we celebrate the city’s 300th birthday and WWL-TV’s 60th anniversary, our gift to you is a free e-cookbook, with free summer time recipes.

Click here to download the free "Summer Favorites" cookbook as well as the previous editions with Recipes for Cajun cooking, Lent, Global Cuisine and Holiday Recipes.

Croque Monsieur

5 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp flour

⅔ cup milk

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

Creole seasoning

Sea salt

Freshly grated nutmeg

4 1/3-inch-thick slices country bread (not sourdough or whole wheat)

4 thin slices Canadian Bacon

2 thin slices Gruyere cheese

Preheat oven to 300 degrees and preheat a cast-iron skillet on top of the stove for about 5 minutes. Prepare a béchamel sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. When bubbles have subsided, add flour and whisk vigorously for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk until smooth. Add Dijon, bring to a boil, and cook until thick. Remove from heat, and season to taste with Creole seasoning, salt and nutmeg.

Spread two slices of bread generously with sauce. Lay two slices of Canadian bacon on top of each, and top each with a slice of cheese; Canadian bacon and cheese should slightly overlap edges of bread. Top each with a slice of bread.

In a small saucepan, melt remaining the 4 tablespoons butter. Brush the sandwiches on both sides with butter, making sure that the edges are well covered. Place sandwiches cheese side down and cook on stove top until well browned, then turn and brown again. Transfer skillet to oven, and bake until heated through and cheese is bubbling. Serve hot.

Hot Bacon-Crab Dip

8 oz. cream cheese

8 oz. crabmeat

1 Tbsp. Creole seasoning

1 cup bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup green onions, chopped

1 lemon, juiced

1-2 cups Seasoned breadcrumbs

Mix cream cheese, crabmeat, and Creole seasoning. Add bacon, mayonnaise, green onions, and lemon juice. Spread in a baking dish and top with breadcrumbs. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly, about 30 minutes.

Serve with crackers, chips or baked pita chips.