French Recipes: Croziflette

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Croziflette is among the traditional French recipes from the mountainous Savoy region of France, a hearty alpine indulgence that is a favorite in the long winter months. Croziflette is a twist on the better-known tartiflette—switch out the potatoes for a special type of pasta called crozet, and you have a French-style pasta bake!

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The tiny square-shaped crozets originate in the Savoy region and are generally made of buckwheat but occasionally also with durum. As is typical of many regional specialties, they are also known under several names within the Savoy region itself, such as croêju, croezu and croezet. There are many traditional French recipes from this area of France using crozets, but the cheesy croziflette is a family favorite.

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In this recipe, crozets are boiled then mixed with sautéed onions, cured ham and cream, then topped with thick chunks of Reblochon cheese and baked in the oven until the cheese is melted. As is typical with French winter recipes, croziflette is not exactly low in calories, but it is the perfect après-ski dish for getting your energy back and warming you up after a long day on the slopes!

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Croziflette

Note: Crozets can be found in specialty shops containing regional goods, such as la Grand Epicerie, select supermarkets and organic grocery stores. If they’re not available near you, substitute any type of small pasta, such as conchigliette, pennette or risoni (also known as orzo).

Serves 5.

350 grams crozets
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
6 thick pieces of cured ham, cubed
1/2 cup dry white wine
200 ml (about ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon) crème fraîche
ground black pepper
1 wheel of Reblochon

1. Preheat the oven to a medium temperature (350°F/180°C).

2. Bring water to a boil in a large pot and cook the crozets according to the package instructions (usually between 12 and 20 minutes, depending on the brand). Drain, return to the original pot and set aside.

3. Heat the olive oil in a small pan and sauté the onion until golden. Add the ham, then deglaze the pan with the wine. Let simmer and reduce for a couple of minutes. Add the mixture and the crème fraîche to the crozets and combine well, seasoning with black pepper as needed.

4. Cut the Reblochon in half to create 2 half circles. Carefully remove the small red or green wax circle typically found on one side of the wheel. Cut the first half circle into long, thin slices. Place the second half circle cut-side down, and carefully slice along the middle (creating the 2 pieces that will be laid on the top of the dish; see photos).

5. Spread half the crozet mix in a buttered serving dish (20 cm by 40 cm), then layer with the long slices of Reblochon. Spread out the rest of the crozet mixture and lay the 2 half circles on top, crust-side up (see photos).

6. Bake for 20 minutes and serve immediately with a hearty red wine.

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