Tag Archives: Bayonne ham

New potato oven raclette and a dog at the end of his tether

racelette hugotypewriter1by

My patience has reached its limits, especially when it comes to pests with wings. I thought we’d seen the back of the tweeting squatter after I had explained (with my teeth showing) that she had delighted us long enough with her presence. I think that my natural assertiveness must be very intimidating because she flew off that very evening. I thought that was that; alas I was mistaken. She comes back at least once or twice every single day for a bellyful of couscous and special dove grains and a snooze. How can she possibly be so hungry and so tired? It’s not as if she has a proper job like me. What annoys me most is how pleased they always are to see her. She fascinates them so much (why?) that they sometimes forget to give me my camembert after lunch, which makes me feel unloved. And as if all this isn’t irritating and hurtful enough, a large bird with a long neck has also turned up. It’s called a heron apparently and thank goodness it doesn’t come into the house because it’s very big indeed. All in all, I’ve had it up to the back of my impressive canines with anything that flaps or chirps. This raclette dish isn’t my favourite, although they seemed to love it for some reason. The upside, however, is that it contains cheese, which is not at all good for birds, so that can only be a good thing.

Ingredients (serves 4)

225g new potatoes, cooked

1 tablespoon olive oil

100g raclette cheese, grated (although any hard cheese will work)

1 medium-sized onion, finely sliced

4 slices Bayonne ham, roughly cut into strips (or Parma ham)

Sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

4 or 5 leaves of fresh basil to garnish

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Prepare a medium-sized oven-proof dish by greasing with olive oil. Slice the potatoes into pieces roughly 3mm thick and create a layer on the bottom of the dish, sprinkle with cheese, add a few strips of ham and onion and continue layering until everything is used up. Make sure to save a bit of cheese to sprinkle on top along with the seasoning. Cook for 40 minutes, garnish with the basil leaves and serve with crisp green salad. And don’t listen to Hugo – it’s divine!

leotweety heron

Leek and Bayonne ham quiche (gluten free)


If the 1980s bestseller ‘Real Men don’t Eat Quiche’ is anything to go by, you might want to refer to this as egg, leek and ham pie if you feel that might go down better with the men at your table. Of course, strictly speaking, I suppose it’s a tart and not a pie, but I’d put money on the fact that a man who won’t eat quiche won’t be buying into ‘tart’ either. Anyway, enough wittering, I believe in calling a quiche a quiche and if the neanderthals eating at my table don’t like it they can go and shoot their own dinner 😉 My alpha-male husband is actually the exception that confirms the rule – he worships at the altar of The Quiche.

The pastry is made with buckwheat flour, which not only makes it gluten-free, but healthier and tastier than regular pastry; it even stays crisp when served cold. And even if you don’t fancy quiche, it makes a superb base for apple, or any other fruit tart too.

Ingredients for pastry (serves 6-8):

220g buckwheat flour

80g butter

20g virgin coconut oil

Roughly 5 tablespoons of cold water

Ingredients for filling:

3 leeks, washed and chopped

2 shallots, sliced

1 tablespoon of olive oil

75ml chicken or vegetable stock

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 egg

150 ml double cream

2 thin slices of Bayonne ham (or Parma ham), cut into strips

50 mg Cheddar, Parmesan or Comté cheese, grated

To make the pastry, begin by cutting the butter and coconut oil into small cubes. Add to the flour in a mixing bowl and add a pinch of sea salt. Blend by hand until the mixture becomes crumbly. Add the cold water, mixing rapidly with a spoon. Remove the mixture from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until you obtain a ball of pastry (if the mixture isn’t ‘sticky’ enough to form a ball, you may need a drop more water). Wrap in a clean cotton tea towel and leave to ‘rest’ in the fridge for about two hours. This relaxes the dough and makes it easier to use.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll out the pastry on a clean, lightly floured surface and fill the tart tin or tins. Buckwheat pastry contains no gluten, which makes it very fragile. You’ll find that you have to treat it delicately and possibly fill in the cracks with remaining bits of pastry by pressing gently. I tend to use individual tart tins. Precook the pastry for 12 minutes.

For the filling, begin by frying the leeks and shallots in olive oil in a small frying pan. Add the stock and braise for about 20 minutes, or until the leeks are well-cooked and the stock is absorbed. Break the egg into a small bowl and add the cream and seasoning (salt, pepper, paprika). Beat well to form a homogenous mixture. Place a few small strips of ham on the pastry base, spoon the leek mixture over that, add some grated cheese and then pour the egg and cream mixture over the top. Cook at 180°C for 20 minutes, or until the top is golden-brown in colour.