The Alps, Europe’s largest mountain range, passes through France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Italy and Slovenia and boasts a distinctive culinary culture. Alpine food is unashamedly heavy fare – stuff you can bolt down after a wintery day. Guilt-free carbs are one of the pleasures of skiing holidays, along with hot chocolate, gluwein and vats of bubbling cheese.
1 kilo of potatoes, waxy, unpeeled, cut in quarters
3 or 4 shallots, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 fresh bay leaves
A pinch of mace
600ml of single cream
1/2 tsp salt (truffle salt if you have it)
150g smoked salmon, turn into strips
1 reblochon cheese, slit horizontally in half
Prepare the potatoes and parboil them in boiling salty water for about five minutes. Drain.
Take a large deep frying pan or wide shallow casserole that you can also use in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Melt the butter in the frying pan and add the shallots, sweating them down until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, the bay leaves and a pinch of mace. Then add the drained potatoes, tossing them in the butter and aromatics for a few minutes.
Add the cream and salt, warming it up, adding the smoked salmon at the last minute.
Finally, add the two halves of the reblochon cheese, rind side up, and put the pan into the oven to bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbling. Place a metal prong into the potatoes to check that they are cooked.
Serve hot accompanied by a green salad dressed with a Dijon mustard vinaigrette and a crisp white wine, preferably from the Savoie region.