As a lover of all things cheese, the Après Ski dishes from The Alps are right up my street. Fondue, Raclette, Tartiflette….all contain loads of melted cheese, so press all the right buttons for me! We were lucky enough that Lore and Sebastian bought us some Reblochon from the source, close to Lake Geneva. So, on a recent visit to the Alps we went to a Reblochon farm to see this wonderful, nutty cheese being produced.
The farm we visited had 70 dairy cows, that are milked in the morning and at night, all year round. Once the milk is collected, rennet is added to separate the milk into curd and whey.
The whey escapes slowly out of small holes in the bottom of the moulds. The moulds are weighted, pressing down and the result is a solid mass of curd which will eventually ripen into the wonderful aromatic cheese, we know as Reblochon.
The cheeses are then left in a cool cellar to mature for at least 21 days. They are washed and turned every day. The end result is a cheese with a distinctive flavour, that should be refrigerated and enjoyed within a week or 2.
…is a dish from the Haute Savoie department of the French Alps. It´s traditionally made from potatoes, Reblochon, lardons and onions. As a non meat eater, I needed to replace the lardons with something with a lot of flavour, so we decided to make a Tartiflette using wild mushrooms. For all of you purists out there, this is not a traditional recipe, this is my take on Tartiflette! I love mushrooms anyway and their texture seemed perfect for this dish.
Since the dish is so calorific, it´s best enjoyed after spending lots of energy, hence perfect after a day of skiing! But if you are nowhere near the slopes, you can enjoy this treat after a long walk in the fresh air. Prepare it in advance and just pop it into the oven when you get home.
1.75 kgs potatoes, cubed
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 Reblochon (450g), halved
100g black trumpet mushrooms
400g oyster mushrooms
400g chanterelle mushrooms
Preheat the oven to 200º. Dice the potatoes and tear the mushrooms into strips.
In a frying pan with a bit of oil, sautée the potatoes until they brown a little. Tip these into a large bowl and part cook all of them in batches.
Then do the same with the mushrooms, then the onions and garlic together.
Season the potatoes and mushrooms, then mix thoroughly with the onions. Empty into a baking dish. Cut the Reblochon in half and put the 2 halves on top of the mushroom mix.
Bake for an hour or until golden brown.
Traditionally this is just served with a simple green salad. What more could you ask for? Melted, cheesy goodness, just perfect for these cold wintery days.