I’m just back from a fantastic week’s skiing in La Plagne in the French Alps. Great company, fresh powder, blue skies…bliss. The chalet I stayed in was wonderful and I can’t recommend the company that owns it, Ski La Source, highly enough – they really pulled out all the stops to make sure we had a fun, hassle-free holiday, both before our arrival and when we were there. Nothing was too much trouble and I just wish we could have brought our chalet hosts home with us as they were so fantastic. One evening they cooked the Savoyarde speciality, tartiflette, which would have presented some problems for me as it is crammed full of cheese and cream…(definitely not a dish for everyday consumption, although one of my companions on the trip did his best ;)). They came up with a dairy-free version, and it worked a treat. Here’s my take on it.
250g bacon lardons
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed or very finely chopped
1kg waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 3mm slices
250ml soya cream
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
seasoning of salt and freshly ground black pepper
sprinkle of herbes de provence
Preheat oven to 180ºC.
Fry the lardons in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until crispy. Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper, then pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan. Return it to the heat and sweat the onions and garlic until soft and slightly golden.
Turn off the heat, add all the other ingredients to the pan and give everything a gentle stir to combine. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and bake for 45-60 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and a nice brown crust has formed on top. (You could lay some slices of dairy-free cheese over it before baking, but my experiences have not been particularly positive… Sometimes only the real thing is good enough.)
Serves 4. Be sure to have some green salad (perhaps with a walnut oil dressing?) and French bread on the side, plus a cold meat platter and gerkins if you’re feeling really greedy.
No picture I’m afraid – instead you’ll have to make do with a photo of the stunning scenery.