Raclette season begins usually when the temperatures in Switzerland begin to drop. The first frost, the first snow encourage the thought of a nice warm Raclette meal fills your head. Raclette is a most wonderful dish. It originated in both the French region of Switzerland and in the high altitudes of the French Alps. This is not a surprise. Both regions are not only situated among the towering Alps, but are defined by a rich culture of cheese and family heritage. Yes, cheese is a culture that both lands pride themselves with.
This meal is designed to be shared together with family and friends around a warm grill, or fire. Let’s not ignore the specialty of a medium to firm cheese selected for this wonderful meal. As a result of coming from the cheese cultured land, every detail was properly arranged. For starters, not only is the cheese incredibly delicious and creamy, but who could ask for a more ingenious idea than to have the cheese cut in squares.
Just the right size for the mini-trays it sits in as it melts under the warm grill. The result of this fine cheese is no oily film or puddling of oil that you would get with other cheese when it melts. For this dish, melted cheese is accompanied by soft boiled potatoes, (boiled for about 8 minutes) Every Swiss is said to have a raclette grill in the house-that along with the fondue pot. Two wonderful traditions, which have lasted hundreds of years.
- 200 grams cheese raclette cheese, semi-hard
- 3 to 4 medium potatoes boiled
- 1 jar pickles smaller varieties
- 1 cup apple sauce to eat along with the potatoes and cheese
- assemble the potatoes in a pressure cooker, and just cover with water. Seal the lid, and when the pressure knob is raised, then set the timer for 8 min. Assemble in a basket when cooked, wrapped in a napkin to keep warm
- plug the grill and set in the middle of the table. Each diner should have 1 or 2 trays to put under the grill. It usually takes a good 15 min. to warm up the grill.
- assemble the cheese. There are many assortments. Some cheese is plain, while others have pepper corns or garlic, or herbs in the cheese.
- Start: Put the cheese in the trays to put under the heat. It takes about 5 min. In the mean time, grab a potato, cut it up, and add a pickle or two, then when the cheese is melted, pour it over the potato. Add some fresh ground pepper, and enjoy.
The grill on top is used often for sausages, or other types of meat to accompany the cheese. We like to make a batch of crepes to cook after the cheese meal, to serve as a light dessert. The choice is yours.