Now’s the time to enjoy a last taste of favorite winter comfort foods

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Now’s the time to enjoy a last taste of favorite winter comfort foods

While the weather is certainly warming up and spring is here, there is one hearty dish that we have been making this winter that I will miss making during the warmer months.



Of course, we can still make it, but it is a stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal that might not feel so good during the hot summer months.

The only ingredient in it that appeals to half of my family is bacon, so this is a 50 percent dish in my household. Half of us eat it, half do not.

It is called tartiflette, and it is an old, traditional French recipe made with potatoes, cheese, onions and yes, bacon. Healthy? Certainly not, but a little goes a long way, and with a green salad on the side, it is a delicious supper.

The traditional recipe calls for reblochon cheese, but I could not find that, so I substituted raclette.

Emma, 12, has taken this one as her signature dish. I help with some of the prep work, but she is pretty in control of putting this one together on her own.

Ahead of time, peel, dice and boil the potatoes. That is the dull task. While they are cooking, we dice the bacon, chop the onion and start cooking those together in a large pan. Cook until the bacon is crispy. Remove the bacon and onion and set aside. I help pour off some of the bacon fat, leaving about a tablespoon in the pan.

Once the potatoes are tender, but not falling apart, add them to the bacon pan, stirring and seasoning with salt, pepper and a pinch of dried herbs, such as rosemary or Italian herb mix.

Next, you need to add some liquid. Traditionally, white wine is used. Chicken broth is a fine substitute, if you want to avoid alcohol, even though any alcohol is cooked off in the process.

After simmering the liquid for about 5 minutes, return the bacon and onion to the mixture and combine well. Have a pretty casserole dish ready, and add half the potatoes to the pan. Make a layer of grated cheese, then add the remaining potatoes.

Bake in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes. Serve the tartiflette with a green salad.

Lucky for my non-potato and non-cheese eaters, we always have salad on the table, but Emma and I love this dish. Try it before the weather gets sticky hot. It is a winning recipe.



mpoitras@discoveryspeed.com. Margery Reed Poitras is a former professional chef who now cooks for her kids and occasionally for the more mature palate.

Tartiflette

Note: Raclette cheese is available locally at Guido’s Favorite Foods and City Market.



Ingredients:



2½ pounds potatoes, peeled and diced

1/3 pound bacon, diced

¾ cup white wine or chicken broth

1 onion, sliced

½ pound raclette cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon Italian herb mix, rosemary or other savory herb of choice



Method:



Preheat oven to 350 F. Boil potatoes in salted water until tender but not falling apart, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet, cook bacon with onion. Remove from pan and pour off all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat.

Add potatoes to skillet, season with salt, pepper and herbs. Add your liquid to the potato mixture and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the bacon and onion mixture back to pan and combine well.

Grate the cheese. Pour half of the potatoes into casserole dish, add a layer of most of the cheese, then add the remaining potatoes and top with another handful of cheese.

Bake for about 20 minutes, then serve.

Now’s the time to enjoy a last taste of favorite winter comfort foods

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