Ever have one of those days where all you wanted was to come home to a nice, hot meal fresh from the oven, but didn’t really have a lot of energy to make it happen? This is that meal… especially if you own a food processor! Excellent as a tasty snack or as a side dish to a small dinner, les tartiflettes are little nids, or nests, of cheesy potato gratins with hints of bacon, garlic and onion. As Rachel explains in her cookbook The Little Paris Kitchen, tartiflettes are the marketing “brainchild of the Reblochon cheese company.” Think Jello in the early 1900s….assuming you know how Jello became popular, that is! But hélas, mes amis, petite histoire destiné à l’avenir!
In the interest of full disclosure, I made some minor changes to this recipe. For starters, Reblochon cheese is not readily available in Oklahoma. The authoress suggests Brie as a good substitute, but I stumbled across a Black Peppercorn Raclette that was calling my name. Yum! I also added in a hint of sweet potato, a sprig of thyme and extra bacon, because that’s how I roll. As Cary Grant would say, “Good Stuff!”
Prep Time: 20 minutes Bake Time: 15-20 minutes
Serving Size: 2-4 munchkintizers (depending on the size of your muffin tin)
1-2 honey gold potato, peeled and julienned
1/2 small sweet potato, peeled and julienned
1-2 slices of bacon, cut into matchsticks, to taste
1 small clove of garlic, minced
1/4 small yellow onion, sliced thinly into matchsticks
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of thyme
1-2 tablespoons heavy cream, depending on the thickness of the potatoes (for a truly French dish, feel free to replace the heavy cream with a good white wine!)
4oz (1/4lb) of black peppercorn Raclette, Brie or Reblochon cheese, cut into matchsticks
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
2. Remove the skins from the potatoes and julienne using either a julienne vegetable peeler, which is kind of laborious, or if you’re really in a hurry bust out the food processor and shred them using the shredder blade. In terms of texture, I prefer a ratio of 1 part sweet potato to 2 parts honey gold potato. Add the cubed cheese and give the mixture a stir. Set aside.
3. Julienne the bacon, onion and garlic into thin 1″ matchsticks (similar to the consistency of the potatoes). Fry the bacon, onion, garlic, thyme and bay leaf over medium heat until the bacon is golden brown. Add in the 1-2 tablespoons of heavy cream and let simmer for a minute. Gently remove the leaves from the sprig of thyme and add to the cream mixture. Discard the stem (of thyme) and the bay leave.
4. Add the cream mixture to the potatoes and stir to combine. Gently spoon little nests of potatoes into a 6-cup muffin tin. Season to taste and bake until bubbly at 375° for 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately!