Mountain Food – Tartiflette.

It Caught on in a Flash.

pop quiz: the lyric above is from what song and artist? clue: halloween favourite gets smashed to little pieces.

No skiing holiday in France is complete without at least three portions of tartiflette; at least one will be a little disappointing, that’s France for you, at least one will be over-priced, that’s France for you, but if you’re lucky, one will be exceptional.

A tartiflette which is rich and creamy, full flavoured and with a good crispy topping can’t be beat, but really; don’t bother with the salad! If the French understood that vegetarians don’t eat ham or bacon, tartiflette could be among the top Mountain Food available in French Ski Resorts, but chances are, if you want the veggie version you’ll have to make it yourself or talk nicely to your chalet chef.

Vegetarian Tartiflette.

  • Splash Cooking Oil
  • 1 medium Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic, very finely chopped
  • 150g tinned button Mushrooms, drained
  • 125ml White Wine
  • 125ml Veg Stock (I use a quarter of a stock cube)
  • 4 large Potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 150ml Creme Faiche
  • 150ml Double Cream
  • 100g Brie*
  • Seasoning
  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and garlic; fry until starting to soften, but not brown.
  2. Add the mushrooms, stock and white wine, bring to the boil.
  3. Simmer until the liquid has reduced by half.
  4. Meanwhile, place the sliced potatoes in bowl, cover with boiling salted water, leave to stand for 5mins, then drain.
  5. Remove the mushroom mixture from the heat and stir in both creams.
  6. Season to taste.
  7. Chop the brie roughly and layer two-thirds of it with the potatoes and mushroom mixture in a shallow, oven proof dish.
  8. Put the final third of the cheese randomly over the surface.
  9. Bake for around 40mins at 180degrees; until the potatoes are soft, the sauce is bubbling and the top has browned.
  10. Finish off for 2-3 minutes under a grill for an extra crispy topping.
Serves Four: Tartiflette is traditionally served with a plate of cold meats and green salad; my advice, don’t bother, just tuck in!

*Traditionally the cheese used in a Tartiflette is Reblochon, however it is pretty hard to find in the UK and when you do it’s usually a bit pricey, Brie does the job just as well, seek out one with a good strong flavour.

pop trivia: A ‘bite’ of a one hit wonder from Bobby Pickett, but one that lives with us every Halloween – Monster Mash, which ‘caught on in a flash’, was originally a hit in 1962.

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