Sel la Vie Tomatoes
Twice Baked Potato, Cheese and Bacon Gratin
This last week has been a glorious late summer holiday, with my daughter visiting, and the weather in SW France being positively balmy with temperatures in the late 20’s and clear azure skies, it’s been like the late birthday gift you never expected, and we have embraced it with open arms. With that holiday feeling comes holiday dining and we have been enjoying eating outside every day, even in the evenings before the dew starts to fall…….it’s been warm but with a slight chill to the air after about 6pm, so what is needed is a light but comforting meal……enter my recipe for Twice Baked Potato, Cheese and Bacon Gratin, a variation of the classic Pommes Dauphinoise, a delectable baked potato dish with cream, garlic, herbs and cheese. This recipe is hearty enough for a cool late summer evening meal but is also light enough for a warm sunny luncheon too.
My version has bacon added to it, making it more suitable as a main course dish and not an accompaniment – it makes a delightful meal when served with salad and crusty bread, or with fresh tomatoes and fougasse as I served it recently. A classic French potato gratin is world-famous, and rightly so, and I have heard that the famous dish (Pommes Dauphinoise) was created as a way of encouraging the “Dauphin” (the young French prince destined to become King Henri II), to eat his vegetables, hence the name. That’s as maybe, but it is just as popular with adults as it is with children. A classic gratin makes a wonderful accompaniment for all sorts of roast meats, stews, casseroles and poultry, or as a stand-alone meal as my recipe is. In place of my usual fresh thyme, I decided to go “off piste” and use a wonderful melange of French herbs that was sent to me by Life of Spice – the Herbes de la Garrigue complimented the dish so well and I loved the addition of lavender.
In addition to being sent this amazing herb mixture, I was also sent flavoured salts and spiced rub mixtures, including The Italian Job salt mix, Memphis Belle rub, Fifty Shades of Grey salt mix and Much Adobo About Nothing rub……all beautifully packaged in small tins with quirky names, they are a real inspiring selection of herbs, salts and spices. It was the Sel la Vie that I used next in my tomatoes – I simply cut the cherry tomatoes in half and sprinkled some of the flavoured salt over them and voila, they were ready to serve. The salt is a mix of sea salt with rosemary and thyme and it was perfect with the fresh tomatoes……no oil or any dressing was needed. The Herbes de la Garrigue is a robust blend of Mediterranean herbs – sage, rosemary, basil, thyme, marjoram, mint, fennel, savoury, lavender and bay leaves and added a fabulous aromatic taste to the potato gratin.
The recipe for my Twice Baked Potato, Cheese and Bacon Gratin is shared below, as for my Sel la Vie Tomatoes, all you need are fresh toms and some sea salt with herbs…..the recipe for my mini fougasse will follow later on, but in the meantime I have a fougasse recipe here: Three Cheese Fougasse. Have a great weekend, and why not have bash at making this gratin for a weekend family meal, that’s all for now, see you soon, Karen
Disclaimer: I received a collection of rubs, salts and herb mixtures from Life of Spice for review; all views and opinions are my own.
As I used Mediterranean herbs and spices in this recipe, I am entering this recipe into