I have nostalgia for the Alpes.
I spent a winter and a summer in Annecy, a near small French city near Swiss border when I was 20.
I met great friends there and they are still my dear friends.
It was in Annecy where I had an encounter with raclette, my cheesy sweetheart.
Raclette is both a name of Swiss /Savoy region cheese and Swiss/French dish.
The way how you eat is to heat the cheese and scrape off (= "racler" in french) the melted cheese. Traditionally the wheel of big raclette cheese placed beneath the heat, then the melted part will be scraped onto a plate.
You eat this melted cheese with small potatoes, cornichon(=gherkins), and charcuteries(= cold cut, dried meat, ham, salami etc).
You will enjoy raclette especially in the winter since it is a very rich meal.
The word "raclette" is derived from the French verb "racler" which means "to scrape".
The dish has quite a long history. It can go a few hundred years back. In the old days, Swiss and French cow herders of the Alpes region, put the cheese near the open fire in the mountains, and scraped the cheese melted and ate it with bread.
In Annecy or Chamonix, you can find a restaurant that serve the raclette in old-fashioned way.
This was the last time we went to Chamonix when Remi was 19 months old at La Taverne de Chamouny in Chamonix.
It's a great Savoy restaurant where you can have all the local traditional dishes.
If you have a chance to visit Chamonix, I highly recommend this one.
At home, you'd probably use an electric table-top grill with mini pans.
I won a gift card of the Future shop at the company Christmas party (yay!), with which we bought a brand new Raclette grill to replace our old old one at Boxing day sale.
You don't need to cook anything.
The only thing you need to cook is potatoes. :)
2-4 different sorts of Dried meat/ jambon
2lbs mini potatoes
(1/2 lb potatoes per person)
raclette cheese, sliced
(1/2 lb cheese per person)
cornichon pickles (gherkins) - more sour the better
Pickled onions (option)
How to eat:
1. Rinse potatoes and boil.
Don't peel potatoes.
2. Place jambon/ salami/ and(or) dried meats on a serving plate.
Place sliced cheese on a plate.
3. Turn on the raclette grill.
(heat is from the top instead of the bottom)
4. Place slices of raclette into small nonstick pans, called coupelles. Place no more than one slice in a pan.
Place the coupelles (small pans) underneath the broiler on the raclette pan.
It takes about 1 minute, or even less to have the sliced cheese melted.
5. Scrape(Racler in French) the melted cheese over boiled potatoe and sliced cold meats.
Cornichon pickles, and pickled onions can be served on the side.
Kids enjoy the raclette meal.
I think it's a great social meal.
and, of course it's soooooooooooooooooo good~