Thursday, 30 October 2008

Mimi Makes Tartiflette

I have recently read the most wonderful book, Remedy by Anne Marsella. It was really quirky and reminded me a lot of Sophie Dahl’s Playing With The Grownups. Remedy is an American living in Paris, and in one passage, she mentions eating Tartiflette for lunch…it sounded divine, all potatoey, cheesey, bacony and comforting, and I decided right away that I had to have a go at making my own version. I have been making a similar dish for years (thinly sliced potatoes and onions, layered in an ovenproof dish, pour over a cup of Bovril, a tin of macaroni cheese – yes, really, but it makes all the difference – and bake for a couple of hours) but this sounded so much more luxurious.

Described variously as ‘this rich and luxurious potato dish straight out of the French Alps makes an indulgent supper for two’ and ‘Tartiflette is the perfect palliative supper dish for chilly autumn and winter evenings’ and ‘warming winter food at its very best’ how could I resist? Unbeknown to me, Carl’s train was delayed on his way home, so when he finally got home, he was cold and tired and hungry, and I am pleased to say he was greeted with the most heavenly comforting smell of dinner. I served it with some rare lamb and peas, and it is definitely something I will be making again. Here is how I made it…(I found several different recipes, and melded them together, so this probably isn’t traditional, but it is delicious!)

1kg waxy potatoes
2 large onions
3 rashers of bacon
Knob of butter
100g cheese (I used a combination of leerdammer for that sweet-nutty-meltyness, and cheddar for that sharp-tangyness)
250ml double cream (or nearest pot size to this)

1) Tie on pinny, preheat oven to 175 oC and flick radio 4 on in the background.
2) Peel and thinly slice the potatoes
3) Put them in a pan of cold water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender.
4) Meanwhile, Peel and thinly slice the onions, and fry them in a knob of butter until soft. Put to one side.
5) Chop the bacon into small pieces, and fry until not quite crisp.
6) Drain the potatoes.
7) Grate the cheeses together.
8) Drain the potatoes, and layer half in an ovenproof dish.
9) Scatter over the bacon, the onion, and half the cheese.
10) Layer the rest of the potatoes over.
11) Pour over the double cream.
12) Sprinkle over the rest of the cheese, grind over some black pepper.
13) Bake for 20-40 minutes, until bubbling and golden.

This made enough for us both to have a large portion for dinner, with plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day, when it tasted even better!

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