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Tartiflette - La Tour de France: Stage 8

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Today is stage 8 of the Tour de France and I have been asked by Barbara from Winos and Foodies to participate in her project to cover each stage of the race by posting a dish from the region.  Today's stage starts in Tournus - Station des Rousses (covered yesterday by Eliza at Gastronomy Gal) and ends in the pretty town of Morzine-Avoriaz.  Luckily for me my friends Saloni and John (See note) own an apartment in the area and have provided the beautiful Alpine photos and the recipe (although I have gone a little "off-piste" with the recipe - sorry John, I'm not sure that I've ever followed a recipe exactly!).



The region is the Rhone Alpes region and is split into two departments - Haute Savoie (meaning Upper Savoy) and Savoie.  Unsurprisingly Morzine-Avoriaz is in Haute Savoie and this stage is one of the toughest of the Tour – a 189 kilometres ride that climbs to a height of nearly 1800 metres.   I am a keen (but slow) cyclist myself and last February Steve and I set off on a cycling trip from London to Istanbul.  Our (slightly optimistic?) planned route included a winter crossing of both the Pyrenees and the French Alps although looking at the stage 8 profile map I think the Alps would definitely have foiled our attempt even if we had conquered the snow blocked Pyrenees.  In the end we abandoned our bikes, gave up on Istanbul as a destination and visited Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Costa Rica, Panama and the Coachella Music Festival in Palm Desert.  We were described by one reader of our blog as "The people who couldn't find Istanbul even if they were being helped by the British Geological Survey".


Considering all of the calories that will have been burnt on Le Tour today, it is fortunate for the cyclists that the dish of the region is the high fat tartiflette made with potatoes, bacon, cream and cheese.  It doesn't strike me as the healthiest meal but it is traditionally served with a green salad.  Well that's alright then.  Even though it is marketed as a traditional dish it was created in the 1980s by the union of reblochon cheesemakers as a way to popularise the cheese - and it worked!  I'm not sure that Barbs had an exposé in mind for her project but I guess that's a side effect of the investigative journalistic style used on Coconut Raita!

Tomorrow is a rest day but stage 9 on Tuesday will be covered by Alison at Sushi Day.

Note: Providers of the marvellous pumpkin and scallop soup recipe last Halloween.

Serves 3-4 (or 2 greedy monkeys aka Saloni and John)

Ingredients

  • 700 grams waxy potatoes (eg Charlotte) - peeled
  • 10 grams butter
  • 1 large white onion - finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic - crushed
  • 200 grams lardons (or streaky bacon - chopped)
  • Small handful thyme leaves - chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 200 grams creme fraiche
  • 100 millilitres white wine (I used the delightful Les Rocailles Aprement vin de Savoie)
  • 250 grams reblochon - finely sliced (with rind)
Method
  1. Pre-heat the over to 180 degrees centigrade.
  2. Cut the peeled potatoes into 1cm slices.
  3. Place in a pan and boil until tender - in the region of 12 - 15 minutes.
  4. In the meantime melt the butter in a pan.
  5. Add the onions to the melted butter and saute for five minutes.
  6. Now add the garlic and lardons.  Stir well and cook for a further five minutes.
  7. Add the thyme leaves and salt and pepper to taste.  Take care not to add too much salt as the cheese and lardons both contain salt.  Stir again and leave for a further five minutes.  The onions should now be soft and the lardons starting to crisp.
  8. Drain the potatoes.
  9. Place half of the slices on the bottom of a shallow ovenproof dish.
  10. Now use half of the lardons and onion mixture to form the next layer.
  11. Place half of the cream on top of the lardons and onions.
  12. Now pour half of the wine over the dish.
  13. Place half of the cheese on the dish.
  14. Repeat steps 9 to 13 to use the remaining ingredients.
  15. Place the dish in the oven until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown - in the region of 20-30 minutes.
  16. Serve with a green salad, vinaigrette and a glass of white wine preferably from the Savoie.

27 comments:

Rachel said...

Hey Reena,It sounds like you're having a wonderful whirlwind tour de france! Tartiflette is fabulous. It's one of my husbands favourites (He used to be a mountain guide in the Alps) so I might have to charm him with this...Good to hear you're having fun, and the weather must be glorious!

Reena said...

Hi Rachel. My hubby loves tartiflette too but I have to be careful not to let him eat it too often otherwise he'll be chubby hubby! Take care.

Amanda said...

Reena, wickedly great recipe!
And having first-hand experience of the area surely makes posting about it that much nicer!

Chris said...

Sounds delicious. I read the words "until bubbling and golden brown" and I am sold!

Reena said...

Hi Amanda and Chris. Thanks for the comments - much appreciated. All the best. Reena

Barbara said...

Reena. I've heard of this dish and now I have your recipe I will be making it. And fancy it being a new dish marketed as traditional!
I have walked over the Pyrenees as part of the Camino de Santiago. The view was spectacular. Thanks so much for your contribution.

angelanddevilsfood said...

a former colleague of mine is cycling around the world. She is really a strong lady: http://d-tours2eng.blogspot.com/
Having over 35°C outside this would be to much for me. Right now I love all kind of salads ;-)
Karin

Reena said...

Hi Barbara. Thank you for allowing me to contribute! It has been a lot of fun and I hope to work with you again in the future. All the best. Reena

Reena said...

Hi Karin. Your friend sounds amazing - I'll be following her blog. 35°C sounds wonderful! Reena

Jeanne @ CookSister! said...

I know this area wall from skiing, so I was sparticularly intersted in watching the stage (and in your post!). So glad you made tartiflette as it is my absolute favourite apres ski meal :)

Reena said...

Hi Jeanne. I think the only people that can eat the dish are those that have been skiing all day! I'm still feeling lardy and I ate it over two weeks ago! Hope all is good with you. Reena

So Simple said...

Hi Reena, The dish sounds rich and wonderful how mad are you two cycling everywhere. It was an interesting post. Cheers

Reena said...

Hi So Simple. Glad you liked the post. Yes "mad" is a good word... All the best. Reena

Heather Davis said...

Hey Reena. So lovely to hear from you on my blog again. Hope all is well with you. I am always coming over here and looking at your gorgeous Indian dishes and just think "wow"! This looks like the perfect comfort food for a very wet, rainy day. Of course absolutely no cycling would be occuring! I can't believe you cycled all the way from London to Istanbul. You are mad. Take care x

Kitchen Butterfly said...

It looks lovely,with the bits of bacon shining through. And the wine & glass in the background bring sophistication! Yum

Reena said...

Hi KB. Glad you liked the photo. It's a different style of photography for me and the response has been a little mixed! Thanks for the comment. Reena

Reena said...

Hi Heather. Lovely to hear from you too. Speak soon. Reena

Gastronomy Gal said...

Oh this is so gorgeous- I am going to make it sometime!

Reena said...

Hi Gastronomy Gal - I hope you enjoy it. Reena

Happy Cook said...

Loved reading the post, you can serve this up to me any time if the day.

Reena said...

Hello Happy Cook! I am more than happy to serve this for you - just let me know when to expect you ;-) Reena

peasepudding said...

Looks fantastic! Your trip makes the Tour de France look like a Disney tour ;o) good luck with future travels

Reena said...

Hi Peasepudding. I feel permanently scarred after the last trip! Not sure about having any more expeditions... Take care. Reena

Anne's Kitchen said...

Oh I love Tartiflette!! And go Andy Schleck, go! :)

Reena said...

Hi Anne - he's certainly quicker going up mountains than I am! Take care. Reena

theweekendgourmande said...

tartiflette is soooo tasty. we like to make tartiflette toast, where we just cook up the potatoes and bacon with some onion and a splash of cream, then add cheese and serve it on toast. sooo good, and easy to prepare for a brunch or breakfast-for-dinner kind of situation! yum!
http://theweekendgourmande.wordpress.com/2010/03/18/new-takes-on-toast/

Reena said...

Hi theweekendgourmande, that sounds great! I'll give it a go sometime. All the best. Reena

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