Once upon a time, January in the mountains, meant freezing temperatures, good snow, and Ice. This year we have the Ice and Rain and wind ,obviously some snow higher up, but wind helps to make lots of ice and swipes away what snow there is.
This equals good news for some of the restaurants as now they are busy at lunch time as well as in the evening. One of our favourites in Morzine, is La Grange, a very rustic place decorated with cow bells, and sleighs and other artefacts of a bygone era. It is owned and operated by Alex ( British) and Fred ( French) . In the off season, Fred uses this time to try his hand at different types of cuisine, ( and does a wonderful Steak Tartare) but in the Winter it is cuisine Savoyard that comes into play. Other restaurants that have tried to be non conformist seem to have failed, the Savoyard cuisine is the one that the tourists are looking for. It is not for the faint hearted, as I have said before, variations on Ham, Cheese and Cream are the order of the day, however the a la carte menu does offer good quality steaks, chicken ,duck pork and fish ( though personally am not keen on FERA du lac, which is a lake fish and I always find it tastes a bit muddy!)
However on our recent visit, it was packed to the doors, but Alex was her usual smiley self and food was as good as usual and copious. I started with the Tarte d’ abondance, which is a very a very rich quiche like tart, but with, I think more cheese and cream, than in a quiche!
Liking it so much, I decided to make it last night, did some research and fiddling with recipes, came up with this:-
Pastry, you can use a packet of bought short pastry ( I always make my own, but then you can all me odd!)
6 eggs, beaten with enough single cream to make up 1/2L of liquid,
500 grams of good cheese, here it would be Abondance, but any of hte following can be used, Beaufort, Emmental, Gruyere, or even goats cheese, but would not recommend any of the british cheeses, either too strong, or do not melt the same.
Roll out the pastry and line a greased quiche type dish with it. Fill dish with the cheese and pour over the egg/cream mixture. Bake at 170/180 degrees for about 40 minutes until golden brown.When hot the filling will be runny but sets on cooling, so best eaten warm, but not piping hot. Serve with a green salad.
Over the Festive season, youngest daughter also took her turn in cooking dinner and she came up with Vegetarian Chilli, which although she is not a vegetarian, enjoys being creative with pulses and grains. so here is her dinner, which is YUMMY!
4 garlic cloves chopped plus 2 large chopped onions
2 cups of chopped vegetables, to include mushrooms ( optional), red/green peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes
1 hot pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
1 Cup frozen peas and or corn
1 tsp ground cumin, ground coriander, chili powder, salt and black pepper
2 cans chopped tomatoes
16 oz – can tomato puree
1 – can kidney beans, ,black beans, red beans, or any other such as chick peas or lentils. all drained
2 Cups water
1/2 Cup bulgur wheat or quinoa cooked
Hot sauce or cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 Cup minced fresh cilantro, for garnish
sour cream, and mashed avocado for garnish (optional) grated cheese
put some oil in a large pot. Sauté the vegetables and spices in the oil over medium to medium-low heat for 10 minutes or until tender. Add a few tablespoons of water if the veggies begin sticking to the pot.
Add the remaining ingredients except the cilantro, sour cream and avocado and simmer over medium-low heat, covered, for 30 minutes. Stir and simmer for an additional 20 to 30 minutes until the veggies are cooked through.
Season with salt and, if more spice is desired, hot sauce or cayenne pepper to taste. Serve sprinked with the cilantro with the sour cream grated cheese and avocado on the side
Tip: Leftover chili freezes