Live To Eat Food Club November 2016

With the recent ‘cold snap’ of weather we have experienced here in the UK, thoughts have turned towards winter holidays – a change of atmosphere and ambiance to suit your style and palate.

Some of you will want to escape to winter sun, but others love the slopes and will be thinking about a skiing holiday. Some of the most comforting food can be found in private chalets that are catered for by chalet chefs, not forgetting that warming lunch and hot drinks at the peak of the mountain.

Live to Eat staff and fans recently visited the ‘Snow and Ski’ Exhibition at the O2, and sampled some of the dishes on offer at top ski resorts in Europe – how about having a go at some of these dishes as winter warmers for your family? Here is a rundown of the top dishes to be found to warm both tummies and give you an outer glow as well! We have included one of our favourite recipes from the French Alps to make your creative juices flow!

Austria

Talk about a filling brunch! Ski lovers order this dish by the thousands every day, or have it served in their chalets – so look for Tiroler Grostl, basically a meat and potato hash which the Austrians cook but using up their Sunday leftovers. Pork, Beef or Ham with potatoes are fried with caraway seeds, marjoram and paprika (the aroma is wonderful) and finished off with parsley to give it a final freshness. Topped with a fried egg, make sure your skiing has finished for the day!

Switzerland

This has to be Raclette for all you cheese worshippers and social animals.You have probably come across this before, but there is nothing quite like eating this meal with friends in front of a roaring log fire. Cheese is melted by a heat lamp and as it begins to ooze and char, you scrape it onto a plate and eat with little boiled potatoes, gherkins (cornichons) and silverskin onions – a dash of acidity. Platters of charcuterie usually accompany this dish, and plenty of crusty bread or baguettes.

If you are a pasta fan, try Alpermagronnen – a delicious mac ‘n cheese style dish but including potatoes and crispy onions. To the side, an apple sauce is served – sound weird? Maybe, but really delicious.

Italy

Of course, pasta dishes abound, as well as salami and bresaola – but think outside the box and sample Strangolopreti, or roughly translated, ‘priest stranglers’. This dish usually comprises of spinach dumplings made from soaked bread, sage and nutmeg, and in spite of their ingredients, are extremely light and fluffy.

France

Spoilt for choice here! But we have to go back to the age-old favourite of Tartiflette, and we have given you our recipe here. Tartiflette is 100% a comfort food – a nap straight after will be on the cards! Waxy potatoes are sliced and combined with smoked bacon lardons, garlic and onions, and topped with the famous Reblochon cheese. So delicious, and several versions are served in the French Alps. Here is ours.

Tartiflette

Ingredients

  • 750g waxy potatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 200g smoked bacon lardons, or 6 rashers smoked back bacon, cubed
  • 250g reblochon cheese (use pont l’eveque if you cannot find reblochon)
  • 142ml tub single cream

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas 7/fan oven 200C. Peel and thickly slice the potatoes, then boil in salted water until just tender with the tip of a knife. Drain.
  2. Sweat the garlic in a little oil until soft. Remove and fry the lardons and bacon in a little butter and a small glug of oil for about 3 or 4 minutes until browned but not burning. Put the garlic back in with the onions and bacon, stir to warm through.
  3. Chop cheese into chunks, leaving the rind on. Layer half the potatoes in a 1.5 litre/2¾ pint buttered ovenproof dish and scatter over half the onion, bacon and cheese. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Repeat layers, then pour cream evenly over the top and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden. Rest for 5 minutes and then serve with a salad and crusty bread.

 

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