Monday, 4 January 2016

Happy Birthday Tartiflette!

So nothing says Happy Birthday to a 2 year old like the French classic - a Tartiflette!

Well, for those following my blog and Nigel Slater's book ( ), will know that the Artichoke Tartiflette should not be cooked until January 25.  However, I mixed up my Raclette and Reblochon cheese in Waitrose, such middle class problems one has...

Anyway, so I have no Raclette for the Winter's Tart on January 9 but instead 500g of Reblochon that won't last till January 25.  School girl!  Not one to be phased and as confessed in my first blog, I am sure a few rules will be 'bent' along the away.  Accordingly, Tartiflette will be cooked today (well yesterday, January 3).  Nigel in his book talks of "cooking that is spontaneous and spirited' and this is certainly that.

Despite this blog being all things Nigel, he was not quite centre stage yesterday as it was the family gathering for my son's 2nd birthday.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find a dinosaur cake in Nigel's book this year, although perhaps next year I will inspire Nigel...

So, on to the Tartiflette.  As this was a short notice cook, I was unable to get Jerusalem Artichokes which I was devastated about as I LOVE them.  Weird nobbly spud like creatures with an incredible nutty taste and which give you wind like nothing else on earth.  I mean, nothing, not even baked beans come close!  As Nigel brilliantly jokes, it would need to be called 'fartiflette'!

So all of this is on pages 26 and 27 of the Book (link above).  However, as you will see, THERE IS NO PICTURE! What is it about recipes with no picture? An unprecedented and disproportionate amount of fear of what it SHOULD look like.  However, fear not my friends, for those Tartiflette virgins, you can always google it (other search engines available), however, this is a beautifully simple recipe which is essentially layering stuff in a bowl.  Now this I can do.  I must confess, it is not my first time...

I have cooked Tartiflette before, always with double cream and white wine.  This is with Creme Fraiche which I really liked, it added a nice acidity which slightly (only very slightly) breaks the richness.   If you were being really good and now it is January I suppose I should be, you could use half fat Creme Fraiche.  However, a dish like this is meant to be rich and indulgent so I went full fat all the way.

So pre cooking, a big pile of stuff that looks like something my toddler could have excreted.  There are two bowls as I omitted the bacon out of the smaller one for my sister-in-law.  It was quite amusing as my mother declared herself a vegetarian after the meaty one was demolished (partly by her) and she started to hit the smaller bowl.  This really is a winning dish.

So out the oven and it is a lovely bubbly, cheesy, gooey mess.  It is only lovely I suppose if you like cheese, I have two friends that don't and it is a good job I like them both very much as I think it could be a deal breaker in friendship terms (I really LOVE cheese!).

As Nigel says, this should be served with cold meats and pickles and thankfully we had a tonne of this left over from Christmas, which is what makes this a great New Years Dish.  It is even good with that slightly drying Turkey that is starting to feel sorry for itself in the back of the fridge.  

So the finished article, is here, served with a lovely pinot noir.  The pickles cut through the richness and the meats pair so well with the flavours of the cheese.  I ate this alone in the quiet of the kitchen whilst the party roared on without me for a few quiet moments...



1 comment: