Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Je ne regrette pas La Tartiflette

Brrr. 

It's getting colder and darker isn't it? I've just the thing to warm you up: Tartiflette. Or a giant cheesy potato bake to you and me.

It almost sounds fancy in French doesn't it? How do they do that? Which brings me off on a little tangent (there's a recipe too I promise). 

What is it about the French that makes them so French?




It's that certain je ne sais quoi. That accent. Those baguettes. The clichés that exist for a reason.

I've had a love affair with France since I went to school there. 16, lanky, dictionnaire in hand, I thought I'd fallen into a dreamland. The pâtisseries,  the crêpes,  the chocolat chaud, the cheese. That accent. Swoon. 

And then they served tongue de boeuf in the canteen and les enfants terribles laughed at my accent. Kids can be so cruel. 

But that didn't break my heart and the affair continued. Over the years I've tried to understand just what is it about the French?

Having observed one of this beautiful species under close quarters I've concluded the following random generalisations about les français: 


  • They make wearing a scarf look elegant. Males included. 
  • And a jumper tied around their shoulders. 
  • They can drink coffee from a bowl without looking like a dehydrated lunatic.
  • Tracksuits are for exercising in. Not popping out to the shop in. Quelle horreur.
  • Sooner or later you'll fall in love with them. I blame the accent.
  • They don't snack. Which means they fill up on large meals. A bit like this one:

Tartiflette

Special thanks to Ms. French Foodie In Dublin for the recipe. Last week I had the pleasure of finally meeting her when I was back home. A fantastic evening of food (French of course) and chat. And she's even more fabuleuse in real life! 

Think comfort food for a second. Are you thinking:

Potatoes?
Some bacon?
A bit of cheese perhaps?

I know I am.  Now let's put all three together. It may not turn me into Amélie Poulain, but something about this dish makes me imagine I'm traipsing up the steps of Montmartre or skiing in the Alpes. OK OK, I drink hot chocolate while Mr. Moustache skis. 

Non, rien de rien. Je ne regrette  rien
Especially not this tartiflette. 

Ingredients

1kg Charlotte potatoes (or any type of waxy potatoes)
200g bacon lardons
1 onion, chopped
100ml white wine
3tbsp crème fraîche
Salt and pepper for seasoning
1 Reblochon cheese (approximately 400g)



  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
  2. Peel and slice the potatoes into quarters. Cook in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for 15 minutes or until soft. Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat a frying pan until hot. Fry the lardons and onion until golden-brown (approximately 5 minutes). 
  4. Add the white wine to the frying pan and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the crème fraîche and simmer for a few minutes until you have a creamy sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Slice the potatoes thinly and layer in a large baking dish. Pour the sauce on top.
  6. Scatter the Reblochon cheese in slices on top. Bake in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes until golden-brown and bubbling. 

Serve. With a glass of red, bien sûr. Close your eyes and transport yourself to the dreamland that is la belle France. 


2 comments:

  1. I'm chuffed. Thanks for the lovely mention and for loving France ;-)
    Really nice post Madame. Mwah

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  2. Mais oui! Tu sais j'adore la France :-) I'm disappointed with my photos...it's more difficult now with the dark evenings. But on the plus side, your tartiflette was la bombe!

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