Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Tartiflette with Fromage Fort


When recipe testing for a French Winophiles event later this month, I decided to pair one of the whites with a Tartiflette. Tartiflette is a traditional dish from the Savoy ares of the Alps; it's made from potatoes, reblochon cheese, lardons, and onions. The dish's name derives from the Savoyard word for potatoes, tartifles.

When I couldn't get my hands on any reblochon, I decided to use up some leftover cheeses and turn 
them into a Fromage Fort

Fromage fort means 'strong cheese' in French and it's the ultimate way of repurposing leftover cheese. I love revamping leftovers into something completely different. We had several orphaned bits of cheese from recent parties, including a French double crème cow's milk cheese; Humboldt Fog, a goat's milk cheese with a ribbon of edible vegetable ash; an Italian taleggio; and Herve Mons' St. Nuage Triple Crème. To that I added some bleu cheese and feta crumbles and a dollop of mascarpone. Can you tell I'm a caseophile? We have a lot of cheese in the fridge!

Ingredients

Fromage Fort
  • 1/2 lb cheese remnants
  • 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • pat of butter
  • 1/4 C dry white wine (I used a Sauvignon Blanc)

Tartiflette 
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and dried
  • 2 T butter, divided + more for buttering the baking dish
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 pound salt pork, cut into slices
  • Freshly ground salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground pepper, as needed
  • 1 C heavy whipping cream
  • Fromage Fort, as needed
Procedure

Fromage Fort
Put your cheese pieces in the bowl of a food processor or blender. In a small skillet, saute the shallots in a pat of butter until softened and translucent. Add the shallots to the cheese. 

Add 1/8 C wine to the cheese-shallot mixture and pulse to process. Slowly add the remaining liquid to the cheese. Blend, again, until it becomes creamy, but not too soft. Spoon the cheese into small jars until read to use.


Tartiflette 
Cook the salt pork pieces until the fat is rendered and the pieces crisped. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a baking dish.


Slice the potatoes into thin, even slices. I use a mandolin slicer. In a skillet with 1 T butter, cook the onions until they soften, approximately 10 minutes. Set aside.


This part is all about making even and appealing layers to the gratin. I did one-third of the potatoes, one-half of the onions; one-third of the potatoes; a layer of Fromage Fort; one-half of the onions; one-third of the potatoes with the crisped salt pork on the top...and more Fromage Fort. Season lightly with salt and pepper at each potato layer.


Gently press down on the layers to create an even top. Pour the cream over the potatoes. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the top layer of potatoes is tender and beginning to brown.


Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. Serve hot.


 You will be seeing this with a pairing from Savoy in a few weeks. Stay tuned.

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