Do you have someone in your life who is impossible to buy for. Someone who you struggle to find any ideas for Christmas gifts each year? I do for a couple of people but I have definitely found a great solution, and its one that I have been testing out on your behalf this month. Buy a Gift, are the UK’s leading provider of experience days. If you are looking for something unique for a birthday or extra special this Christmas, then Buy a Gift could be just the place you need to check out.
What’s on offer?
There is a great variety of experiences on offer. Not just ones that you might expect, but really unusual things like river cruises, glamping breaks and flying lessons. I decided to go for something that I’ve wanted to try out for ages and that’s cooking. I’d say I’m an OK cook, I like to experiment but seem to lack time, and if I’m totally honest a little skill too. I wanted to book a cookery course that was out of my comfort zone. Now I looked at lots of courses, as I have a very local cookery school that the Buy a Gift vouchers could be used at, and the different styles of cooking. I pondered Indian cookery lessons, or Italian which is also a family favourite. In the end I went for a Christmas cookery course, as it’s the one time of year when I really struggle to try something different to cook, so thought I would get the most out of it at this time of year.
How to book?
To arrange everything is simple, I just ordered what I needed, a day or half day cookery course. The buy a gift card is then sent to your home, and then you redeem this voucher with your chosen location. So it’s up to you to book the experience with the provider. Of course if this is a gift, it’s up to them to book it at a suitable time and place.
The course was over 3 hours, and we would be making three dishes, everything was provided includidng the recipes to take away.
I wanted to share with you a recipe use on the course and its Tartiflette, a traditional dish from the french Alps. Perfect for those in-between days or to serve on NYE as final hurrah before the diet starts. I’ve actually made this a couple of times now, the last time making smaller individual ones to freeze for over the Christmas period.
Individual Tartiflette Recipe
- 1kg/2lb 4oz potatoes, peeled (ideally Charlotte or other waxy potato)
- 1 pack of chestnut mushrooms
- 5shallots – peeled and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves
- 100ml/3½fl oz white wine
- 200ml/7fl oz double cream
- 2 heaped tablespoons of 0 fat creme fraiche
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 whole Reblochon cheese 0.5 lbs 225g sliced
- Olive oil
Here’s the step by step guide in photos :
Put the oven on at 200 degrees to warm
Peel the potatoes, and place in a pan with salted water, cook for 10 minutes, or until tender.
Add the oil to a pan, and turn on the heat. Chop finely the shallots and add to the pan.
Cook until translucent, and then add the mushrooms and finely chopped garlic. Keep cooking on a medium heat.
Once these are all cooked, deglaze the pan with the wine, and cook until the wine had evaporated.
The potatoes should be now cooked, drained and cooling.
Layer the cooked potatoes, and onion mixture in individual pots, I’m using Denby ones, as they go in the oven and freezer.
Repeat until you have no onions and mushroom mixture or potato left.
IMPORTANT – Adding plenty of seasoning to each layer
Now its time for the cheese.
Don’t worry about the rind, once cooked this is actually the best bit!
Combine the creme and cream together, and divide between the portions. Just pour over the top of each individual tartiflette.
I found this amount of ingredients was enough for 4 good-sized portions.
Now put them in the oven to cook for around 20 minutes, or until golden and bubbling on top.
If like me, you have family member who loves cooking but a cookery class wouldn’t be suitable. How about buying a few cookery books from places such as The Works. Or maybe have someone who is looking to learn how to cook, or wants to learn about a particular style of cuisine, cookery books are a great way to kick start that passion.
Now its the best bit the eating!
I think it works well with fresh crusty bread, pickled gherkins or beetroot even cabbage on the side, to cut through the cream and cheese. Of course a nice glass of red wine really well too. I think I’m going to make the recipe again, but next time adding a little chilli too, for some heat.
Individual Tartiflette Recipe