French Comfort Food [Secret Life of an Expat]

The weather is finally starting to get cool here, average days in the 40s, which means winter is a-coming. What’s the best part about winter in France? The combination of damp cold and hibernation mode makes it acceptable to eat the many cheese-heavy dishes one would normally only indulge in during a ski trip to the Alps. One of these dishes is called Tartiflette. If you can find reblochon cheese (this might be hard because it’s a raw cow’s milk cheese, but according to some guy on Chowhound, it’s now packaged as Fromage de Savoie, and other people have talked about buying it at Whole Foods), you can easily make it in the United States. After a cold, snowy morning, by eating this dish you could pretend you’ve just skied the Alps, instead of shoveled out your driveway. Tartiflette, a main course dish that is essentially a very special potato gratin, was invented by the “Reblochon cheese council” (that’s what we’d call it in the U.S. anyway) in the 1980s, to sell more cheese. What it lacks in history, it makes up for in yumminess. Here is the recipe for one of the ultimate French comfort foods: Ingredients 4 pounds of potatoes 8 oz┬álardons (very thick bacon cut into strips) 2 onions 1 cup white wine 1 cup creme fraiche (or sour cream) 1 (450 gram/1 pound) Reblochon or Fromage de Savoie To start, peel and set your potatoes to boil. While the potatoes are cooking, fry the lardons (bacon). This is what French lardons look like:Essentially, they are strips of 1/4 inch thick bacon, smoked or not. “Bacon” in France is thin, round slices of smokey meat, and if you want “American bacon” you have to ask the butcher to slice up some...