Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Dinner Pictures

The tartiflette went well tonight. I made a few on-the-spot recipe changes and if I'm being honest, I should have allowed for a bit more baking time than I did. The potatoes could have been just a teeny bit softer and the top just a little crunchier. But c'est la was a late dinner anyway, so if I jumped the gun, it was only to get all the hungry mouths fed faster. Here are some pictures of our Wednesday meal:

Bed of Potatoes

First, I peeled and boiled two pounds (~900g) of potatoes for about 10 minutes. Then I chopped up an onion (no onion pics, I was too busy crying) and put them in a hot pan with a spoonful of oil to fry while I cut up the softened potatoes. After slicing them thinly, I spread them across the bottom of an ungreased 13x9 dish. A 13x9 dish has a 3 litre capacity and the recipe called for a 2 litre dish. I still don't have all my conversions down pat, nor do I know how many litres all our baking dishes hold, so I'm making up a lot of this as I go along! This is one of the main reasons why I augmented tonight's recipe. The other big reason is that I made it for five last Thursday (Grandpa came over for dinner) and there was just enough for everyone. I happen to be a fan of leftovers, so I decided to make more this time.

Oven-ready dinner

This is probably the least appetizing of the whole batch of dinner pictures. My apologies. Everything in the dish is cold and it hasn't had a chance to melt into potato and cheesy goodness yet. But you can see the potential! The oven is hot and ready to bake this dish into a fine dinner.

I mentioned above that I fried up an onion while I was layering the pan with potatoes. Once the onion was nice and soft after about 10 minutes of frying, I added the cut up bacon. The easiest bacon to find in Scotland is thick rasher-style slices, rather than the thin strip bacon that's most common in the US. I must say, I prefer the rasher bacon and that's what I'd encourage using in this recipe.

After the bacon had about three minutes to fry with the onions, I added just over a cup of wine and brought it to a boil, per the recipe. Next time I make this, I'll try a non-alcoholic wine and report on its effectiveness in the dish. As soon as it reached the boiling point, I poured the wine/bacon/onion mixture over the bed of half-cooked potatoes. Then I spread about four big spoonfuls of creme fraiche (sour cream) and 150 grams (~1 3/4 cup) of cheddar cheese on top of the mixture and popped it in the oven. The recipe called for Reblochon or Teleggio cheese, but I couldn't find either at my local grocery store, so I just went for a white mature cheddar. It works just fine, trust me.

So we let it bake for about 25 minutes and...

The finished product

It's ready to go! As I said at the beginning of this post, I really should have let the dish cook for just a few minutes longer because the potatoes were not as soft as they could have been, but it went over very well anyway. I was the only one who seemed to notice this minor shortcoming (well, and my husband, but this is only because I was grumbling in his ear about it for the first few bites) and it was a hit with the kids, which makes for an easy evening all around.

Plating up

So there you go. Add some steamed carrots and you have a hearty winter dinner with some good leftover potential, too. This is a nice easy meal with a name that's SO amusing to say: tar-ti-fle-tte. I think it's supposed to be pronounced with three syllables (like pirouette), but I say it with four, adding a fake flourish at the end. It's more fun that way.

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