It is Tuesday so Feisty Foodie Sara links up with us this morning and what is cooking? “Today’s recipe comes to us from my friend Quiettrie. This is a typical French dish with combines some of my favourite ingredients! I had never had them prepared this way and now I can’t imagine wanting them any differently! Today we are talking about Tartiflette, which is essentially a French casserole of potatoes, bacon, onion and cheese. What sounds better than that? This warm and inviting dish isn’t difficult to prepare, but you’ll fall in love with it’s pleasing texture and satisfying combination.
To go with this rich dish, the perfect partner would be a light salad with some acid to cut through it. A delightful Light French Green Salad! Arugula gives this salad a slight peppery note, but if you prefer, you can use Mesclun greens. I also like to add shaved brussels sprouts! Prepare the dessert earlier in the day so it has time to set. Pots de Crème are super easy and is probably one of my favourites to make! It’s the perfect end to a delicious meal!
To go with this rich dish, the ideal pairing would be a Chardonnay from the Savoy or Aosta Valley region (since this is where the dish is from). But…since I know you love a good cocktail, how about a classic French 75 Cocktail?
Tartiflette (potato, bacon & cheese casserole)
3 lbs floury potato (such as russet)
2 onions, thin sliced half moons
1 clove garlic, crushed
12 oz thick cut smoked bacon, ½ inch lardons
1 tbsp butter
½ cup dry white wine
¾ cup of milk (or creme fraiche)
500 g Reblochon cheese (substitute gruyere and swiss or Port Salut) you need a cheese at melts well
Spring onion, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F. Add potatoes to a pot of cold water. The water should be enough to cover the potatoes. Season with salt, then bring to a boil over medium-high heat and let boil for approx. 10 – 15 min., or until fork tender. Drain and let cool.
Cook bacon in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat until cooked but not quite crisp and most of the fat is rendered out, 5 to 7 minutes. Push bacon to one side of the pan and blot up some of the fat with a wadded paper towel. Add ½ the butter, when melted add onion slices. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and cayenne. Cook and stir over medium heat until onions are soft, sweet, and golden, about 6 minutes. Add white wine; cook for 2 minutes and deglaze pan. Remove from heat.
Lightly butter a cassarole dish. Peel and slice cooked, cooled potatoes. Cut potatoes in ½ inch half-moon slices. Add half of the potato slices to a baking dish. Season with salt and pepper and top with half of the bacon-onion mixture. Layer over half the sliced Reblochon (or other cheese) and repeat the process with remaining ingredients. Cover with milk, top with cheese, cover with foil and bake at 200ºC/400ºF for approx. 30 – 35 min.,. Remove foil and cook approx 5 minutes more until the top is golden brown. Top with spring onion and enjoy!
Light French Green Salad
3 tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
½ tsp honey
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Squeeze of lemon juice
1/2 cup good olive oil
Arugula or mesclun mix for 6
Shaved Parmesan curls
Toasted Pine nuts (optional)
In a two-cup glass measure, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper. Slowly add the olive oil and continue whisking until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Toss the greens with enough dressing to moisten. Using a carrot peeler, shave Parm over top and serve.
TIP: Shaved brussels sprouts make a great addition to this salad.
Pots de Crème
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons brandy (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
4 eggs, at room temperature
8 ounces (1 cup) very hot strong coffee
Dark Chocolate bar, for shaving over
Brandy Whipped Cream (or canned whipped cream)
Place the chocolate chips in a blender. Add the brandy, vanilla, salt and eggs and turn on the blender.
While it is blending, remove the circular disk from the blender lid and very slowly pour in the very hot coffee. (It is essential that the coffee be extremely hot in order for the final product to be the right consistency and texture.) Blend until the mixture is smooth and fairly free of visible bits of chocolate, 20 to 30 seconds.
Pour the mixture into 3 large glasses, such as snifters, or 10 demitasse cups, leaving plenty of room to add a heap of whipped cream later. Place in the refrigerator for at least 3 to 4 hours so the mixture has a chance to set.
Before serving, spoon in the Brandy Whipped Cream and decorate with shaved chocolate
Brandy Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon brandy
Add the heavy cream and sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip until it forms soft peaks. Add the brandy and mix in.
Classic French 75 Cocktail
¾ ounce simple syrup
¾ freshly squeezed lemon juice
1½ ounces dry gin
2 ounces Champagne, chilled
Lemon peel for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, combine the simple syrup, lemon juice, and gin.