Tartiflette…and a Siberian blanket.

I’m not a very big potato fan, but with our extremely cold temperatures here in Europe and especially here at Coin Perdu in the barn, I take comfort in a hearty true mountain tartiflette. It does wonders for my cold body…and spirit! It is a favorite in my family and we make it different every time. It is a recipe that can be played around with, except for the cheese..that can NOT be replaced. It won’t be a tartiflette without that strong flavoured creamy cheese.

There aren’t any specific quantities for making a tartiflette…I can only tell you more or less what I do:

  1. Wash 4 -6 large potatoes and boil until almost tender.
  2. Rinse, leave to cool aside.
  3. Fry 2 large onions in a pan, add a handful of sliced champignons de Paris and a packet of bacon pieces. Season to you taste.
  4. When the potatoes have cooled down, remove the skin and cut into thin slices.
  5. Heat the oven to 200 degr. C.
  6. Layer the potatoes in an oven proof dish, alternating the potatoes and the onions.
  7. Cut a Reblochon cheese(or another soft cheese of your choice) through the middle so you have two thin rounds.  I used a Montagnard des Vosges. Place cut side down on the potatoes.
  8. If your dish looks too dry, add a drizzling of créme fraiche before placing the cheese on top.
  9. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the crust has become dry and brittle. Remove from the oven and remove the crust from the dish. Sprinkle with some paprika or “piment d’Espelette” and bake for another 10 minutes or until the top is nicely caramelized.
  10. Serve warm with some slices of smoked ham and a large fresh green salad on the side with a pungent vinaigrette.

Serves 4 as a meal.

Europe had been covered in a Siberian snow blanket for the past week or so…freezing cold, hyper dangerous, but spectacular! It is exceptionally cold here at Coin Perdu and I have a rough time keeping warm, seeing to fresh water for the horses with all the plumbing frozen rock solid. Warming up the barn to a comfortable temperature has also been a challenging task as of late and the only solution is to dress Inuit style, shuffling  around in multiple layers and moving with less agility than a polar bear. don';t even mention femininity.. We were snowed in without snow chains for the car and couldn’t get up the hill. the small French country roads are not made for snow and tiny cars and evidence of  this is seen all around the countryside with cars in ditches off the roads.

..our/my home for now…

..bringing the horses in for the night, feeding them, carrying hay from the e other barn and water from the swimming pool..

…an unfinished home – what would I give to be all snug in my home..

…VERY c..c..c..c0ld visits..!!

…the boxwoods are still standing and showing off their beauty against a white background…

..first time snow for Mimolette…

…discovering this all-white-business…

..a white potager(vegetable garden) with the eiffel tower empty, a garden cloche looking quite pretty and last year’s cherry tomatoes…

Mésanges bleues(blue tits and a mésange charbonniére(Great tits) are all too playful in this cold. Between them and the red robins and the pies and the horses and the chickens and the cats and the rabbits and whoever else…; I just can’t keep up with feeding everybody!…

…just some prettiness…

Last, but not least: THANK YOU to everybody who has sent me emails and messages expressing concern for our staying here in the barn at Coin Perdu during this cold, wondering how we/I’m holding up and whether we/I’m surviving.  It is very much appreciated.!! I’m still here, even though I have to admit it is a bit tough lately.  Thank you for caring!

à bientôt

the polar bear(ess)!

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22 responses

  1. Oh my god that is paradise! Yeah, I really mean it, you do live in a winter paradise! Amazing photos and even more amazing animals, especially love the chickens. Ah and the tartiflette just perfect!

    07/02/2012 at 15:50

  2. Des images magiques..I know it must be hard..I am so used to this.. never thought how hard it could be for you:( My apologies….Of course it must be difficult!

    Your artist’s eye is taking in all the beauty of the very different landscape though.

    I have made tartiflette once.. no bacon..etc..I must try this..Tu me bonnes une envie !De savourer ce plat.

    You are so kind to be feeding evryone:) I simply have tiny birds:)
    La tour!! Be still my heart:)

    Mimollette and her beautiful snow boots:) That is an amazing photo!

    Take care Ronelle.. I hope this will end soon..for all of you!

    07/02/2012 at 15:51

  3. You live in a beautiful place! This is the perfect dish to eat when it is freezing cold outside.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    07/02/2012 at 15:56

  4. Hope Mimolette appreciates snow more than I do ! ;o) But never mind if I don’t like cold days .. I loved this post, anyway !
    Hélène

    07/02/2012 at 16:16

  5. We never have snow here and your pictures are stunning! I do wish for snow, but it seems like we always want what we do not have. Your dish does look like a delicious way to chase the chill away!

    07/02/2012 at 17:35

  6. What is the temperature over there? Hope you have a fire going all the time. I like the way you carry your hay from one barn to the other. Here, there is a plastic sled that I put it on when there is snow.

    I must have missed something, as to why you have moved there for the winter…you are selling your other home?

    Stay warm and keep preparing those sensational meals.

    07/02/2012 at 17:41

  7. your photos and style of writing makes me feel like i’m traveling as well.

    07/02/2012 at 17:50

  8. Quel plaisir de te lire et tes photos sont superbes…pendant un moment j’ai oublié mon quotidien, faire à manger, m’occuper des enfants et mille occupations encore…merci pour cette évasion. Tu vis dans un superbe endroit et enneigé il devient encore plus beau! Ton plat est magnifique, je le reproduis dès j’ai acheté du bon fromage ici à Londres…On n’a pas la chance d’avoir tous ces fromages français, mais je me débrouillerai…Bonne soirée.

    07/02/2012 at 18:19

  9. what nice pictures look awesome, love all, ante the dish look yumm!

    08/02/2012 at 00:15

  10. Oh my gosh – you have an outside loo in that weather? that potato dish looks awesome, will have to try it. Do you heat the barn with a wood stove? Make sure you stay bundled up, and thanks for sharing such lovely photos. It is very hot here in Australia and I enjoyed your cool photos!

    08/02/2012 at 00:33

  11. @ Chriesi: Thank you…on some other day I’ll agree with you…paradise…but for now, I hope paradise isn’t this cold!

    @ Monique: T’inquet pas! I LOVE your bird food…I want to try and make some too. I jusr wonder if our birds will eat them…you know, they are very costaud here, the birds!! they will think ti far too pretty

    @Rosa…you would know abvout the cold too…you almost have worse weather than we have. at the moment!

    @Hlelene: Yes, I admit that I’m one for sun and summer too, however pretty the snow may be. You are spoled with lovely weahter there in Cannes!

    @Tina…hehe, how right you are! The grass is alwasy greener on the pother side!

    @Lori: Our night temperatures(foir the last 2 weeks) have dropped to -15 at night and during the day we hpover -9/-9. In the barn I can JUST get the temperature(with 2 stoves) to 10 degrees C. And yes, our Loire home is up for sale, but I’m staying here mostly to care for the horses.
    I love that sled you have…I think I must get one too. I still use the antique hay fork we found here…hehe.

    @Merin: thank you, I love travelling too, whether for real of from an armchair.

    @Meriem: J’espère bien que tu trouve tes fromages là…eh oui, q’on est gaté en France avec nos fromages! Peutêtre au marché à Nottinghill ?

    @Gloria: Merci merci!

    @Africanaussi: Yes, unfortunately for me…our toilette is outside.. And we do heat the barn witrh two wooden stoves..I can’t imagine hot weather any place at the moment. We should exchange some heat for some cold?

    thank you everybody!
    Ronelle

    08/02/2012 at 09:35

  12. Your photos are striking today Ronelle and they also make me shiver a little. I’ve read how cold it’s been in your part of the world. I’ve thought of you in your barn and hoped you were doing well. It couldn’t have been easy. We lived on the second floor of a barn for a couple of years in the winter, but the winter was in Florida and nothing like you are experiencing. But the floor was very cold there even when it wasn’t really all that cold outside and our feet felt like they were freezing when we got out of bed and they had to touch the floor,

    Your lovely tartiflette would warm the heart and soul and nourish the body. Stay warm and take care of yourself.
    Sam

    08/02/2012 at 12:21

  13. Reblogged this on GLUTEN FREE GIRL IN DC and commented:
    Not only is this an amazing dish but for people like me it is gluten free!

    08/02/2012 at 16:05

  14. @Sam: thank you, I appreciate your support. you lived in a barn too? It is something else, non…quite an experience? And you’re right…it is that floor, it stays cold all the time, even with rugs thrown all over each other.

    @Gluten free girl…thank you, so happy you like it and thanks for the reblog!

    Thank you
    Ronelle

    08/02/2012 at 17:46

  15. We have been reading about the freezing cold temperatures in Europe in our newspapers on on the internet while we are having one of the mildest winters in recent memory. The latest news was the ice in the canals in Venice. I feel so sorry for those who make their living on those canals. I know so many are suffering in this Siberian blanket.

    Mimolette looks just fine in her ski boots and beautiful coat :)

    I’ve never made a tartiflette but seeing yours, I know I must since we have plenty of winter left. I will have to Google the type of cheese you used on yours.

    Stay warm – even if not feminine ;)

    08/02/2012 at 20:02

  16. Your photos are stunning! You know I love those chicken photos. (:

    The tartiflette looks beautiful and sounds yummy, as well. Perfect comfort food to eat while stay cozy warm.

    xx~~

    08/02/2012 at 20:51

  17. That looks delicious!
    Also….what breed are those absolutely beautiful chickens? I have never seen ones like that.
    Hope you have tons and tons of firewood. A cozy fire is just about the most important thing to make winter tolerable, I think.

    09/02/2012 at 21:14

  18. Ronelle, the Tartiflette is definitely next on my to make and bake list!!! It looks delicious! Your photographs are beautiful!
    Ixx :)

    10/02/2012 at 02:14

  19. Dear Ronelle, oh it sounds frigid there. I hope you are doing ok. It’s beautiful to see but I know it must be so very hard. This will sound silly but something that keeps me warm sometimes is a pillowcase filled with 3 cups of rice and some herbs for sweet smells. Tie this up in a knot or you can sew it shut. I tie it’s easier and then if you have a microwave.. zap in the microwave for 2 minutes. Test if it’s too hot leave out until it cools a little then you can place the bag under your sweater between t-shirt and sweater– but not on bare skin and it will stay warm for awhile. I use one on my back everyday. It feels so good. Hope this works to help a little and take care, love to you,Diana

    10/02/2012 at 14:44

  20. @ Susan…I worry about all those birds in Venice! And as for femininity…oh, I try SO hard, but WHY can’t women’s winter clothes be beautiful AND warm?

    @ Dana…you should paint them…I know you would like to!

    @ Caterine…those cuties are Sablepoot(Mimolette) and the other little round one(Tartlette) is a Bantam Pekin. And yes…fire is ALL I have!!

    @ Ingrid…thank you., dear friend!

    @ Diana…how did you know I have backache? Just tomorrow I am going to make myself one and will let you know how it works! thank you!

    ronelle xx

    10/02/2012 at 20:22

  21. So lovely! Those chickens are the most beautiful I have ever seen. What kind are they? What a magical time and space ;)

    21/02/2012 at 01:00

  22. Pingback: Gourmand Tartiflette Pizza | A Provincial Life

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