08 March 2016

La Tartiflette savoyarde

La Tartiflette is a cheese and potato dish that was more or less invented 30 or 40 years ago up in the Alpine area called La Savoie. It's a meal you can enjoy when the weather outside is especially wintry. You start the tartiflette by sauteeing some nice potatoes in oil or butter. (Or you can steam the potatoes before you cut them up and then, optionally, brown them.)


Wintry is what our weather is like this March. Yesterday, we had a snow shower — une giboulée it's called — that saw snow falling hard but didn't last as long as the one I blogged about last Saturday. The snow didn't stick yesterday, but the temperature outdoors this morning is down to freezing, or below.



The second step in making the tartiflette is to sauté some thick bacon or little chunks of smoked ham (lardons fumées in France), along with a couple of diced-up onions, in the same pan, after taking the potatoes out. If you cook the bacon and onions first, and for more flavor, sauté the potatoes right in the bacon fat. (Nothing would stop you from using smoked chicken or turkey instead of bacon, or leaving the meat out entirely.)


It seems that tartiflette was invented by people who wanted a good way to increase sales of the Alpine cheese called Le Reblochon. According to Wikipedia, Reblochon is "a soft washed-rind... French cheese traditionally made from raw cow's milk from the Alps [and] produced in the region of Savoy (departments of Savoie and Haute-Savoie)." I wonder if you can find it outside France.


You assemble the tartiflette by first cutting the Reblochon in half through the middle to make two discs that have skin on one side and none on the other. It you want, and depending on the size of your baking idsh, you can cut the two cheese halves in two or even four again. Place them skin-side-up on top of the sautéed potatoes, bacon, and onions, moistened with a splash of cream or milk and seasoned with a little salt and good amount of black pepper.


The cheese I used is one that is sold at Intermarché specifically for making tartiflette. It's called — surprise surprise — fromage à tartiflette. I think its rindis thinner than the Reblochon's, which you need to remove partially by scraping it with a knife before you melt it on top of the potatoes. (Again, nothing would stop you from using a Camembert or a small Brie, made either in Wisconsin or France, or some other cheese that melts well, to create your own version of tartiflette.) Bake the dish in a hot oven until it's heated through and the cheese has melted appealingly.

15 comments:

  1. You can get Reblochon cheese in Carrefour and Delhaize supermarkets in Belgium. And in specialized dairy shops of course. It is one of my favourite cheeses. Your tartiflette looks delicious. Great comfort food when it is cold and foggy outside. Martine

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    1. Martine, I recently found out that the supermarket chain called Food Lion in North Carolina is actually owned by Delhaize. No wonder it's my favorite place to shop there.

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    2. Well Ken, things go fast nowadays; Delhaize recently has been taken over by the Dutch "Royal Ahold" (they say "merged", but in the "new" company the Delhaize part is 33% and the Ahold part is 67%). Makes no difference for your tartiflette by the way, it looks very delicious indeed :-)!

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  2. I love the last half dozen words... So very Delia!!
    This looks much nicer than the commercial presentations of tartiflette that I have seen....might try this tonight!!

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    1. There is a very succinct recipe for tartiflette on the wrapper of the fromage à tartiflette that I bought at Intermarché. I've forgotten the brand. Or get a real Reblochon.

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    2. The cheese was the RichesMonts brand, actually.

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    3. That recipe calls for roasting the potatoes in the oven first and then cutting up which seems easier maybe. I dunno. Sometimes I see cheese curds for sale at our Publix- I don't know what they are exactly, but they are available in Wisconsin everywhere. Perhaps they would work. I bet this recipe is good anyway you do it. Potatoes and onions are so good together.

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  3. I think it needs more cheese. :)

    just kidding ... it is early in the morning and I am salivating over your photos of food... thanks a lot :)

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  4. Mmmm ... looks great. Unfortunately, when we have Tartiflette here we have to use a different cheese. Reblochon is no longer available in the US as far as I know.

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  5. Looks like one of those simple but delicious dishes! I was just thinking of asking if one might use Camembert or Brie when you answered the question.

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  6. Thanks for sharing this recipe. It looks delicious.

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  7. A nice cheese source in California has cheeses that come close to being Reblochon
    http://www.andantedairy.com/cows.html

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  8. Ken it looks wonderful!!

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  9. I was JUST thinking about this recipe yesterday, thinking about making it for Easter, to go with our ham. Not sure if I will. But, I did not at all remember that you had to cook the potatoes first!

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