A crowd pleaser – Nids de tartiflette – cheese and potato nests

Nids de tartiflette_2Whenever I plan a meal, I will usually look at what happens to be available in my fridge or pantry, and cook up the meal from what’s already there. I rarely buy a truckload of ingredients to make that one dish. However, if I happen to chance upon an ingredient that I have been dying to try, I will make that effort. This time, I got my hands on a stinky French cheese, Reblochon* and I am certainly super excited about using it.

Reblochon is from the Alps region of Haute-Savoie in France. It is a washed-rind and smear-ripened soft cheese made from raw cow’s milk. Because of the smear-ripened process (this means a solution of bacteria or fungi is smeared onto the cheese), it imparts a pungent flavour on the rind. As Reblochon is made from unpasteurised milk, it gives the cheese a nutty taste and creamy texture. When you purchase your Reblochon, It is important to check the packaging. On the packaging, there should be an A.O.P. (Appellation d’Origine Protégée) logo.

Nids de tartifletteIn the 1980s, to encourage the sales of Reblochon, the Union Interprofessional Reblochon (what a cool union) developed a dish called tartiflette, which is essentially a cheese and potato nest. Traditionally, lardon or bacon is also added into this dish. However I omitted it here in order to make the recipe more vegetarian friendly. The pungent flavour from Reblochon somehow oozes away, leaving a beautiful potato nest which has a crunchy crust, and a rich and creamy soft bottom. If you are lucky enough to savour the baked rind (I always look out for the corner piece which has the most rind), it is both crisp and cheesy. Though it has a fancy name, tartiflette is quite an easy dish to make and I am sure it will be a crowd favourite at the dinner table.

About Mandy Ng

Mandy’s journey into the culinary world began out of necessity–a means of survival whilst she was at university. She believes cooking should be simple and fun. Besides spending time in the kitchen whipping up hearty meals, Mandy also dreams of having a bottomless stomach that she can fill with all kinds of delicious things.