Tartiflette and a Bottle of Côte du Rhône, or Two.
March 25, 2006
On Sunday March 12, Daniel was kind enough to brave I-95 traffic, drove into the city and carted some of our luggage including the dog's crate back to Larchmont. In return Jennifer and I made dinner. It's a tad drafty at in The Estates so we needed something that would keep us warm. We opted for the Tartiflette.
Ok David, this one is a home run. It's lusty, sensual, fairly easy to make and perfect for those cold Wisconsin winters when you need to get close to stay warm. Even the name sounds sexy. Say it with me in your best French accent, Tahr•tee•flet! This recipe was adapted from Dominique Vial's oral recitation so you know it comes from the source, Savoy.
Start by shaking up the iced vodka with a few tablespoons of olive brine and pouring that lovely concoction into chilled martini glasses. Now, if your date is not a martini drinker you may want to opt for something a bit softer like a Kir Royale (a glass of champagne with a half ounce of chambord) Or, if you're feeling particularly smooth, drop a sugar cube into a champagne saucer, add two drops of Angosturra Bitters, fill the saucer with champagne and you've got yourself an Ellington.
While the young lady is sipping her aperitif, peel and slice 6 potatoes into 1/8 inch rounds. Boil them until soft, not soggy. Sauté 1 onion or several shallots with olive oil, a few pepper flakes and if you eat pork add a half a cup of chopped prosciutto. I can't eat Babe, so I skip that part. When the shallots are glassy, add the parboiled potatoes, stir to coat and cook for a minute or two. Then add 1/2 cup white wine, a sprig of thyme, a few turns of the peppermill and a pinch of salt to taste. If you used Babe, be careful with the salt. Cook this lovely mixture for about 5 mins to reduce. Transfer to a beautiful baking dish (you want this to look nice when you remove it from the oven and place the bubbling dish on the table next to the bottle of Côte du Rhône) and place the 1/2 wheel of Reblochon that you cut earlier rind side up. If the young lady needs more coaxing, you can use the whole wheel of Reblochon scored with a cross on the underside. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 for about 40 minutes or until brown, crisp and bubbly. Serve with a simple green salad dressed with a lemon vinagrette and the aforementioned bottle(s) of wine.
That Sunday night we ate a good portion of the Tartiflette and drank both bottles of wine. We were stuffed! Daniel admitted to eating the remainder of the Tartiflette after Jennifer and I headed back to civilization. He's visibly gained a few pounds since we've been cooking up at The Estates.
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