Indulgent tartiflette

Tartiflette is a comforting French dish popular amongst those heading to Alpine resorts. Just picture the scene, coming back in from a day on the slopes and in need of a comforting dish to warm you up whilst sipping a glass of wine or two- heaven! If you like potato, cheese and bacon then this is the perfect dish for you! In my version I have added spinach as a nod towards one of your five a day but you could leave it out if you prefer or replace with kale if you like.

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Ingredients- serves 4
Bag of baby spinach- approx. 250g
Knob of unsalted butter
800g waxy potatoes, such as King Edward
150g smoked bacon lardons (fried off) or smoked ham (cut into squares)
200g Reblochon or Camembert cheese
300ml double cream
120ml vegetable stock

1. Firstly preheat the oven to 160c/ 140 fan. Wilt the bag of spinach into a saucepan over a medium heat and allow to cool slightly before squeezing out any excess water.

2. Rub a little softened butter in the inside of a baking dish approximately 20cm x 25cm in size. I sometimes use individual baking dishes so everyone has their own so it’s up to you. If you like, at this stage you could also cut a garlic clove in half and rub around the dishes for an added dimension.

3. Cut the potatoes into 3mm thin slices and layer in the dish with the spinach, bacon or ham and 150g of the cheese. I have also fried off a couple of shallots and layered this through as well for an extra texture so do try this next time. Leave the thinnest potato slices for the top so they go crispy when it’s cooked. Season to taste.

4. Pour over the cream and stock and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Take it out of the oven and pop the remaining 50g of cheese over the top and place back in the oven until golden and bubbling. Serve with steamed greens or a crisp salad if you like.

Light the open fire and try this indulgent tartiflette for a little taste of France! Heavenly…

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Fromage, fromage, fromage!

Whilst I put the finishing touches to my roundup of my recent trip to Paris I thought I would get you in the mood with a twist on a classic baked camembert. One for the cheese lovers out there! This is ideal for a Bank Holiday lunch or as a starter.

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Ingredients- serves 2
30g unsalted butter
50ml olive oil
Drizzle of runny honey
3 sprigs of thyme
2 bulbs of garlic
A 200- 250g wheel of Camembert

1. Preheat the oven to 200c/ 180 fan and grab a small roasting tray. Add all of the butter, oil and honey to the tin along with the sprigs of fresh thyme.

2. Carefully cut the end off each garlic bulb and place cut side down into the tin. This needs to bake for around 30 minutes until the garlic starts to soften.

3. When the garlic is ready, cross the top of the cheese wheel with a knife and pop it into the tray. I find that a standard wheel of Camembert takes around 15-20 minutes but do check. Be careful not to make the crosses too deep otherwise the cheese will start to spill over and catch in the tin. I like to baste the cheese with the sweet, sticky juices around the cheese to add an extra something.

4. When the cheese has melted, serve with warmed fresh bread. Offer a bulb of roasted garlic to each person and liberally slather this on the bread before dunking in the Camembert.

Camembert with roasted garlic and thyme- the diet can wait!