Tartiflette Re-Imagined

In the northern Alps of France, east of Lyon, there is a region called the Savoy.  The city of Albertville, where the 1992 winter Olympics were hosted, can be found in the Savoie region.  It has a particular cuisine specific to the cold mountain conditions.  Very hearty and very cheesy is the jist of it.  I have 2 favorite dishes from there, the first being tartiflette, and the second being raclette.  Maybe I will do a blog on raclette this winter!  The original tartiflette is a version of a potato gratin really.  It is a baked dish with minced bacon and carmelized  onions, potatoes, cream and reblouchon cheese.  The cheese is native to the savoie area and is what gives it the unique flavor and regional characteristics.

I can’t completely take credit for the idea of this recipe.  Recently we went to a restaurant in Loumarin on a rainy day and they served this dish as the special.  They substituted the potatoes for these little fresh ravioli that come in a sheet format, 4 sheets to a package.  The ravioli dauphiné are filled with ricotta cheese and herbs.  I bought the ingredients the following week and I have since made it twice.  Yum!  This recipe makes 2 portions that should be baked in individual sized baking dishes.  My husband and I eat this as a main with nothing else.  It is very rich.

Tartiflette Re-Imagined

Serves 2 to 4

1 Package of Fresh Ravioli (the tiniest ones you can find)

1 Large Yellow Onion

3 Tbs of butter

1 Small Package of Lardon OR 2-4 thick slices of bacon chopped into bits

10cl/4 Tbs of Whole Cream

6 Tsp of Crème Frâiche

1 Small Wheel of Reblouchon Cheese (could substitute other strong cheeses that melt nicely)

  1. Pre-heat Oven to 210℃ or 425℉
  2. Peel and slice the onion; then melt the butter in a pan over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook/stir until they have a nice caramelized look; 10 minutes is usually good if you are in a hurry
  3. In a second pan, cook the lardon until it has a nice color, but not too crispy; drain the fat off. NOTE: my shortcut to speed up things and not use 2 pans, is to start with the lardon, drain most of the fat, then add the butter and onions
  4. De-glaze the pan with 2 tbs of cream right at the end
  5. Meanwhile, you should have a pot of boiling salted water ready for the pasta.  Just as the onions are finishing up, add the pasta to the water and cook for 2-3 minutes; DO NOT DRAIN
  6. Distribute the onions evenly in the bottom of your individual baking pans; then using a large slotted utensil, capture the raviolis and distribute them, leaving the light starch water coating to keep them from sticking to each other
  7. Drizzle one tbs of cream over the pasta in each dish and dollop the 3 tsp of creme fraiche on each.
  8. Slice the reblouchon and add them to the top before placing them in the oven
  9. Bake until cheese is bubbly and brown around the edges, 10-15 mins usually

NOTE: Lardon can also be omitted from this recipe making it vegetarian.  The caramelized onions have a beautiful flavor, so you don’t miss anything without the pork.

Bon Appétit!

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