Happy Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday! How are you celebrating?
It’s currently snowing in the Chicago area so I’d like to celebrate by eating a warm, fatty meal … which has me dreaming about Raclette.
Have you heard of raclette, a fantastic (and stinky) cheese? It’s a very popular dish, usually served in the French Alps during the winter. The meal is very heavy and perfect for après ski or after a day of playing in the snow. Since the raclette is melted and served warm (very similar to fondue), it’s easy to prepare at home. But I think it’s so much better than fondue.
I’ve hosted a few raclette parties and I love that it’s so easy and inexpensive to prepare for a big group. Recently, I was reminded of how much I love raclette when our family friends served a delicious raclette dinner after spending an afternoon skiing in the Alps recently. It hit the spot.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
First you’ll need a special tool that allows your guests to melt the cheese themselves, something like this. If you don’t have the proper equipment, you could always melt the cheese in a skillet and serve directly on each plate.
For a side dish, I recommend a vegetarian winter salad. Something similar to a Spinach Salad would be a good balance for this heavy meal.
Raclette Cheese (which I buy pre-sliced from Trader Joe’s), Potatoes (petit gold or fingerling), a variety of Charcuterie (I try to be more eco-friendly by buying local and organic meat), and Cornichons (or tiny pickles)
Roasted bell peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini. Any of these vegetables should be thinly sliced and pre-cooked.
Boil the potatoes, with the skin on, and keep them warm for guest. You could keep the potatoes warm by placing them in a bowl on top of the raclette machine.
Set the table and display the cheese, meats, and vegetables on platters. Serve a dry, white wine or hard cider with dinner.
Et voila, you’re ready for a dinner party!
Once you’re ready heat up their slices of raclette, just let the cheese get warm and bubble slightly. Do not overcook cheese.
If your guests have any interest in dessert, keep it very light with a sorbet or fresh fruit.