Tartiflette is a traditional French dish with potatoes, cheese and bacon. Perfect for lunch, supper, mid week dinner, when you need a comforting dish, this will foot the bill.
The recipe usually uses slices of potatoes, however I didn’t have any potatoes, but did have some gnocchi in the fridge, so I thought, ok, a great substitute.
I gathered together the ingredients, gnocchi, lardons (bacon bits), cheese, onions. I was looking forward to the results.
I started by frying off the lardons/bacon, transferred them to 2 individual dishes, then added the gnocchi to the frying pan and cooked them through getting some colour on each of the little balls of fluffy potato, then I split them between the dishes and then cooked the mushrooms and onion, again just cooking them through, as once the dish was put together, I would be placing them in the oven to melt the cheese, I mean can you taste it already, melted cheese, oh yes.
I mixed the ingredients together and then tossed the Reblochon cheese through the mixture, tucking some little bits down in between the gnocchi and mushrooms. The final flourish was a covering of grated cheddar, perfect.
I placed the dishes onto a baking tray and it was into a hot oven, to warm up the gnocchi, lardons, mushrooms and onions and best of all to melt the cheese :-).
Then it was the waiting, that was the killer, but not too bad, 15 minutes and it was hot and bubbling and ready to eat, delicious.
I promise you will love it, I know I did, and by the way so did my hubby.
Delicious fluffy gnocchi with mushrooms, onions and melted cheese
Heat the oven conventional 220 c/fan 200/gas 7,
Place 2 dishes on a baking tray.
Fry the lardons in a frying pan until cooked through and a little crispy.
Transfer the cooked lardons into the dishes. Leaving as much of the fat in the frying pan.
Toss the gnocchi into the frying pan and cook until they are warmed through and have a little colour on all sides. (5 minutes).
Remove the gnocchi and split between the 2 dishes.
Cook the onions and mushrooms in the frying pan, add a little vegetable oil if required.
Transfer to the dishes.
Using a spoon, mix the contents of the dishes and arrange so all the ingredients and mixed together.
Cut the reblochon cheese into small slices and toss through the contents of the dishes, tucking the cheese in between the gnocchi so it will melt through.
Then top with the grated cheddar cheese and place the baking tray in the oven.
When the cheese is bubbling and melted about 15 minutes. Remove the baking tray from the oven.
Transfer the dishes to heat proof plates before serving.
If you can not find reblochon cheese you can use any soft cheese like brie and camembert. Just experiment, there is lots to love with melted cheese.
Delicious delightful Baked Camembert, a great treat and yet a simple lunch or starter, Baked Camembert can tick the box every time.
So many people back away from Camembert as the smell can be over powering (smelly), but to be honest, that’s only when its getting older. For this recipe you want a reasonably young Camembert.. Of course if you like the flavour of ‘old’ Camembert then by all means use it.
The smell of Camembert invokes so many different memories, most of them around holidays or at least summer time, sunshine, friends and a little glass of wine.
Baked Camembert lends itself to a very relaxed type of ‘cooking’ (if you can really call it that), but it certainly lends itself to a very relaxed eating experience.
Delicious bubbling Camembert with garlic and rosemary and some rustic crunchy croutons to dip, oh my mouth is watering as I write this.
Its a case of buying the Camembert of your choice, there are so many different producers of Camembert some have been infused with alcohol and it has to be Calvados, you can buy some that have been rolled in chopped hazelnuts, just buy what ever you fancy.
I have gone for a basic Camembert and added some garlic cloves and rosemary before baking in the oven, a great combination for a very simple dish.
Take the bread and cut or rip it into large pieces and toss into a large oven tray, drizzle over the sunflower oil and toss to give a light coating.
Place the baking tray into the oven and allow them to start crisping up.
Take the Camemberts from the boxes and remove the paper and then place back into the lid.
Using a sharp knife cut a cross in the centre of the Camembert, take care cut through just the top of the cheese, do not cut all the way through.
Peel the garlic cloves and place them on your board and give them a bash with the back of your knife.
Place a clove in the centre of the cheese and then add half of a sprig of rosemary. Put the Camemberts onto a baking tray and place them in the oven.
Check your croutons and give them a bit of a shake and move them around, so they get some good colour all over.
Bake the Camemberts for 20-30 minutes, it will depend on the Camemberts, you are looking for them to start bubbling from the cut in the top, but keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t pop (with the heat).
When ready, remove the baked Camemberts to a plate, leaving them in the boxes and transfer the croutons into a bowl and place into the middle of the take, let everyone grab a bunch of croutons to dip into their Camemberts, oh just delicious.
This dish is ideal as a lunchtime treat and can be a very elegant starter for any dinner party. It is also a great sharing dish, for 2 people. Just dig in.
Delicious bubbling Baked Camembert with garlic and rosemary
Take the crusty bread and cut/tear your bread into large chunky pieces and toss into a large oven tray.
Drizzle the bread pieces with some sunflower oil, not too much, just enough so that the bread with toast in the oven.
Place the bread into the oven and prepare the Camembert.
Unwrap the camemberts and place back into the lid of the Camembert box.
Cut a cross in the centre of the Camembert.
Peel the garlic clove, crush with the back of your knife and push into the centre of the cross that you have cut in the Camembert.
Push the Rosemary sprig in beside the garlic.
Place the Camemberts onto a baking tray and place in the oven.
Check the croutons and toss them around to ensure you have an even colour.
Bake the Camemberts for 20-30 minutes, you are looking for them to be bubbling from the centre. Check the Camemberts after 15 minutes in case they bubble over or split,
Remove the Camemberts from the oven, serve the Camemberts in the lids on a plate for each person. Transfer the croutons to a large bowl and place in the centre of the table allowing everyone to dig in.
Serve a standard Camembert each person.
Take care when serving the baked Camemberts, to ensure they are still warm enough to enjoy but not 'too' hot that they will burn your guests.
As you know we are in France these days, and I am always looking for new ways of working the classics, it doesnt always have to be rich dishes but it does need to taste good and be worth the effort, even if that is 5 minuets or 2 hours.
I decided that I wanted to have a play around with the classic Croque Madame, (Cheese and ham toastie with a fried egg on top), well we are in France of course so why not use another classic the Baguette.
Wonderful brunch recipe with soft yolk egg
This is a wonderful brunch/lunch dish, to enjoy either on your own or with friends. I created this dish on a Sunday morning as it is ideal for that brunch dish, not quite breakfast not quite lunch.
I started off with gathering all the ingredients together, this is one of those dishes that is ready to eat as soon as the egg is cooked.
You will need to make a bechamel sauce, start by putting the milk into a small pot and place on the heat, add the copped onion and bay leaf, bring this to boiling point, but you don’t need to have it boiling, then turn off and allow the flavours to infuse.
Then next start making your roux, with equal quantities of butter and flour, place the butter into a medium pot and place on a heat and allow the butter to melt completely and when it starts to boil, tip all the flour in (all in one go) and start mixing, bringing it all together, it should look crumbly, but don’t worry this is how it should look. Cook it over a low heat for about 2 minutes. (this cooks out the flour and that flour taste)
Strain the milk, (discard the onion and bay leaf) then using a whisk, slowly adding the milk in a slow steam into the butter/flour mix and keep mixing until you have thick smooth sauce
I prefer to have a batard (careful with the spelling here), it is a lunchtime bread, basically it is a thick baguette, nearer a ‘Pain’ loaf and cut it into thick slices about 5/6 cms each.
Removing the center of the bread
Take the center (soft) bread out of each slice and place on a board.
I use thin slices of smoked ham (Jambon cru) as we dont have access to nice slices of bacon here in France, but this is the next best thing.
Use the ham/bacon to line the inside of your bread slice, tucking the ham all the way around and trying to ensure you dont have any spaces in your ham as this will be used to hold your egg.
Put a frying pan onto the heat and add a bit of butter, when then butter has melted place each of your slices into the frying pan and cook for a couple of minutes so your bread is getting a bit of colour.
Crack the egg into the bread cup
Then carefully crack your egg into each slice.
Fold the ham over the egg
Again leave for 1 minute then fold the edges of your ham over your egg and carefully flip over to brown on the other side, adding a little more butter just so that the bread will brown.
topped with bechamel sauce and grated cheese
Top each slice with a spoonful of your bechamel sauce and then top with some grated cheese.
Melt the cheese under the grill
Place your flying pan under the grill to melt your cheese, when then cheese is all nice and bubbly, place the slices on your place and tuck in.
You can not fail to enjoy this wonderful brunch dish. If of course your guests don’t like a soft yolk egg, then just cook it a little longer in the frying pan and it will be perfect for everyone.
Serves 2 people
1 thick baguette
4-6 slices of bacon/ham
100g grated cheese
25 g butter
280 ml milk
1 small onion roughly chopped
Start by making the bechamel sauce, place the milk, onion and bayleave in a small pot and heat to boiling point, then turn the heat off and allow the flavours to infuse.
In another pot, melt the butter and once melted and bubbling, add all of the flour and mix ensuring the butter and flour are fully incorporated. It will start to resemble breadcrumbs, this is what it should look like. Continue cooking for approximately 2 minutes, this is to ‘cook out’ the flour so you don’t have that flour flavour.
Start to drizzle the milk over a sieve/strainer (remove the onions and bay leave, they have done their job) into the butter/flour mix and whisk together, it may look a bit lumpy at the beginning, but don’t worry, keep whisking and it will come together as a thick sauce.
Continue cooking on a low heat until you have the consistency of mayonnaise. Then put aside until you are ready to use.
Now prepare the baguette, remove the soft centre of the bread and fill the space with bacon/ham, making sure you don’t have any spaces.
Put your frying pan on a medium heat and add some butter, allowing it to melt before you add the bread slices, crack an egg into each of the baguette slices and allow the bottom of the bread to brown, then fold over the excess bacon/ham and flip the slices over, this will brown the top of the slices.
Turn on your grill, mix your bechamel sauce and top each of your slices with a good spoonful of the bechamel sauce then top with some grated cheese.
Slip your pan under the grill and melt the cheese until bubbling.
Following on with the Burns Supper event, I am always looking for a different twist to the traditional take on THE menu for a Traditional Burns Supper.
Cranachan is a very traditional Scottish dessert for Burns supper, which is a layered dessert with whipped cream, raspberries and oats. So my first port of call is the Rampant Scotland Website for lots of traditional Scottish recipes as well as other Scottish things.
I had used the recipe for Cranachan from here for another Burns supper, so needed a different take on this one, I searched other websites to see what I could find and found this wonderful recipe for a Cranachan Cheese cake by Paul Hollywood. But of course I had to make a couple of tweaks for myself.
I have reproduced my version of this recipe below, I hope you enjoy
For the base (I made my own oatcake mix)
60g wholewheat flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
60-80ml hot water
125g/4½oz unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
3 tbsp honey
For the filling
100g/3½oz caster sugar
350g/12oz full-fat cream cheese
4 medium free-range eggs
200g/7oz frozen raspberries for the topping
For the raspberry coulis
100g/3.5oz frozen raspberries (defrosted)
100g/3.5oz icing sugar
Preheat your oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Butter and line deep 20cm/7in springform tin, with baking paper.
To make the base, put the ingredients for the Oat mix (first 6 items) in a food processor and process until they are finely ground, gradually add the hot water to make a dough, it should be slightly dry and crumbly, you may not need to add all of the hot water, it will depend on the oats.
Tip the contents out onto a baking dish and put in the oven for 15-20 minutes, check at 5 minute intervals, breaking up bigger pieces and mixing the contents around to ensure they are all baked, move the outside mixture into the centre as it will cook faster and could burn.
Once a nice golden colour, remove from the oven and place in the food processor again, add the melted butter and honey and process again until thoroughly combined. Press this mixture evenly into the base of the tin and put it in the fridge to set (about an hour).
Heat a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add the oatmeal and one teaspoon of the sugar. Toast them, tossing frequently, until golden. Tip onto a plate to cool.
Take 200g of the defrosted raspberries put them in a bowl and mix to breakdown a bit, you should have some chunky pieces of raspberries and some raspberry juice.
Put the ricotta, cream cheese, eggs and remaining caster sugar in a bowl and whip using a hand blender and blend until smooth. Stir in the cooled, toasted oatmeal.
Pour onto the set base, take the raspberry mixture and drop into the cheese mixture, using a fork to lightly mix/swirl into the mix.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cheesecake is set around the edges but still a bit wobbly in the middle.
Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside with the door ajar until the cheesecake is cool. (This can take a few hours but helps prevent the top of cheesecake from cracking.)
If you are serving the following day, place the cooled cheese cake in the fridge to ensue it is set and ready for the raspberry coulis glaze.
To make the raspberry coulis, purée the raspberries and icing sugar together in a blender, or with a stick blender. (if you prefer a really smooth coulis, push the purée through a sieve to remove any remaining pips, most should have been crushed with the blender).
Take your cheesecake from the fridge and place on a serving plate, if you are finding it hard to remove the tin, heat the outer edge, near the bottom with a kitchen blow torch (those used for crème brulee) as the butter from the base will have hardened up in the fridge.
Peel the baking paper off the cake and you should have a lovely firm looking cheese cake.
Spoon the raspberry coulis/glaze over the top of the cheese cake and then top with the fresh raspberries.
Serve the cheesecake with pouring cream and extra raspberry coulis.
The Cranachan cheese cake was a great success, I hope you find this a great addition to your recipe list.