Chef and food writer Aimée Wimbush-Bourque is one of a new breed of food professionals; she left a 10-year career in restaurant kitchens to manage the home she shares with her husband, Danny, and children Noah, Mateo and Clara. This self-described “urban homesteader” tends her gardens, raises chickens and puts up her own preserves on land that backs onto a maple forest just outside of Montreal. Since returning to her home kitchen she launched her own food blog, Under the High Chair (underthehighchair.com), which led to a position as editor of SimpleBites.net, an online magazine with a focus on whole food for the family table. She shared a recipe for tartiflette, a rustic French potato dish made with lardons (bacon) and the Oka cheese for which Quebec is famous.
Tartiflette with Oka
Aimée lives just a short distance from where Oka cheese is made, and she’s seldom without a round or two on hand. This tartiflette is like a glorified scalloped potato and perfectly highlights the Oka cheese. It’s rich enough to be a meal on its own, rounded out with a fresh green salad and a glass of chilled white wine.
1 3/4 lb (800 g) yellow-fleshed potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
1/3 lb (150 g) slab bacon
1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/3 cup (85 ml) white wine
1/4 tsp (2 ml) salt
1/4 tsp (2 ml) freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup (185 ml) whipping cream
1 small wheel Oka cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Lightly butter a round ovenproof casserole or cast iron skillet.
2. Cook the potatoes in salted water until tender, but still somewhat firm in the centre. Drain, cool slightly, and cut into smaller cubes.
3. In a skillet, lightly brown the bacon. Add the onion and continue cooking for two minutes. Add the white wine and simmer, stirring to release any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until the wine is reduced by half.
4. Add the cubed potatoes, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix well. Pour into the prepared casserole dish. Drizzle the cream over the top. Remove the rind from the bottom of the cheese and lightly scratch the top rind of the cheese. Place the cheese, rind side up, on the potato mixture.
5. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are cooked through. Serve immediately.
Adapted from simplebites.net.