Winter’s Last Hurrah ~ A Croziflette

Spring is springing in the French Alps, the days are longer, beautiful bright blue skies, and warm 15 to 18 degrees, you can sit out on the terraces in just a t-shirt (if you are brave) or like me in a t-shirt and jumper. The sun is getting warmer and stronger, it feels good. There’s still plenty of skiing to be had, it’s been a fantastic winter in the French Alps with plenty of snow and cold weather in early winter to keep the pistes in perfect condition.

As I’m back skiing we need (read want) food that is tasty and hearty and today’s dinner is exactly that – hearty mountain food, a twist on an Alpine favourite.

Tartiflette is a popular Alpine dish – a classic of Reblochon cheese, potatoes and cream. I made a vegetarian version earlier in the season and have planned todays dish ever since. I’ve always seen Crozets in the shops and wondered ho wto use them, they are tiny pasta squares. I don’t know their history for certain – maybe a link in the past to the former rulers of the Savoie – the Savoy Princes and the Italian culture and connections or maybe more recent than that.  Whatever their history they are popular.

A couple of weeks ago I popped to the local weekly market – a mix of fruit and veg stalls, sellers of honey, cakes, nougat, household goods, and mountains of meats and cheeses. I buy cheese from local producers, and Reblochon features heavily, this cheese originates a few miles from us.

And this cheese has sat in our fridge ever since, waiting for its big moment.

The quality of this Reblochon is superb, we’ve nibbled on a few pieces and it’s delectable – rich and creamy. And the beauty of both Tartiflette and Croziflette is that the rind is used – that’s where all the flavour is.

READER WARNING – If you are on a diet, not taking much exercise and care, I’d look away now, this recipe calls for half a Reblochon, and a heap of creme fraiche. See I told you to look away. If on the other hand you don’t care, or are planning on ending your diet, bookmark the recipe.

Vegetarian Crozilflette

– for 2 to 3 servings

  • 110g pasta – short cut, such as Les Crozets
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 50g brown mushrooms – chopped or Lardons
  • 25 ml creme fraiche
  • 250g or half a Reblochon cheese
  • A dash of white wine – optional
  • Salt and Pepper to season

Method ~

  • Cook the pasta in boiling water for 10 minutes, drain and set aside
  • In a large pan, gently saute the onions, garlic and mushrooms (or lardons if using) until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are cooked.
  • I added a splash of white wine at this point to help get the moisture out of the mushrooms.
  • When the vegetables are cooked, turn the heat off and add the pasta and the creme fraiche and combine all the ingredients and then pour the mix into a baking dish.
  • On a chopping board cut the Reblochon in half, and the slice the rind off both sides, make the slices fairly thin and put them to one side. Now cut the remaining cheese (the bit without the rind) into small chunks and add it to the pasta, mix it in well.
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Use the slices of the Reblochon rind to cover the pasta, you can cut them into strips.
  • Place in a hot oven (Gas 6 / 200 degrees) for approx 20 minutes or until the cheese on top is browned and bubbly.

We ate this with a green salad and a dish of buttered green beans, and washed it down with a hearty red wine.

Bon Appetit!

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45 comments

  • This is one aorta buster dish but soooooo yummy. I actually have not had this particular brand of cheese but would be willing to run a few extra miles one day just to try some in your yummy savory dish.

  • Hey, a couple of extra trots around the mountains with the dogs and I´ll be good to eat this! I sounds amazing, and oh how I wish we could get cheese like that here 😦

    • I don’t think I know of an equivalent for Reblochon, it’s soft and creamy, but distinctive!
      I’m coming to appreciate and realise more and more the differences in cheeses, it’s obviously been a tough learning curve 😉

    • I know what you mean about reading recipes when it’s only breakfast time – your mind switches from coffee and toast to the most outrageous food combinations – one of the “joys” of blogging I guess 🙂

    • Hi there, we normally don’t eat the rind (much), but it cooks up wonderfully, and seeing as I don’t know of an equivalent cheese I’m hoping someone who read this blog could point us in the right direction! And thanks for popping in 🙂

  • Hi!
    Everything in this dish sounds perfect 🙂 I’m going with Tanya on this: A bit more exercise and I’ll be ready to enjoy it.
    Thanks for sharing Claire 🙂

  • The cheese alone has me salivating, Claire! My goodness but this looks yummy! I am almost afraid I’d over -indulge to the point of illness, but then again this, for me, would be the ultimate comfort food! The creme fraiche is a wonderfully smooth addition! I didn’t look away in time! Debra

  • This sounds great, Claire, and the pasta looks like the quadretti that Mom made by hand, although hers were used in soup. Your recipe has me salivating and I’d love to give it a try. I’d better join a gym first. Have a great day on the slopes!

    • Hi John, you know I had it in my head that you made a dish with the small pasta, but completely forgot about it when I wrote the recipe up! I think, to save the heart muscles from any more strain I’ll make some soup with the remaining pasta 🙂

    • The cheese is beautiful to look at, the rind has lots of different colours to it, we just kept staring at it when we took it out of the paper 🙂

  • This sounds wonderful, Claire, with the pasta, creamy cheese, wine and mushrooms…a favorite combination. Enough to take you off your diet, exercise or no!

  • What an exceptional end of winter delight! The pasta and cheese are both new to me and make for a tempting read!

    • Hi Deb, the pasta was new to me too, but as John (from the Bartolini Kitchens) pointed out his mum made “quadretti” which sounds and looks very similar.

  • That looks SO decadent and fattening. Something everyone should taste at least once before they kick the bucket. 🙂

    • Hi there, I was wondering if you managed to get a ski in or not, shame you are not there on the slopes but second best is cheesy presents! Can’t wait to see what you do with the Reblochon, I’ve been very traditional is my eating/cooking of it….

  • Heavens Claire!! I’ll exercise a bit longer to have some of this!! Wow…sounds so delicious and comforting! Love the paring with a salad, definitely need the crisp freshness to compliment this creamy, rich dish. Wonderful recipe!

    • Hi, I know it’s an outrageously naughty dish! I kind of made the recipe up – I’ve seen it on menus here and worked it out for myself. And I just love a green salad to follow a meal, it always seems to cleanse me somehow!, either that or it makes me feel a bit better after eating something so naughty and rich!

  • Wow–this looks sooo rich and delicious! And with the cheese looking great just by itself, I am impressed that enough of it lasted long enough to make the dish!

  • One of my all time favorite cheeses. I love that you have used it in this decedent dish. The aroma from the melted Reblochon must have been wonderful. For those that can’t get the cheese maybe Camembert would work.

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