Friday, January 21, 2011

"Mini" Raclette

Raclette, the dish, like it's cousin fondue, is basically delicious melted cheese (usually plain or even flavored Raclette although Morbier and Appenzeller while not traditional work well too) served with roasted potatoes, cornichons and pickled onions. Crusty bread and slices of cured meats like ham, salami and especially traditional Swiss Bundnerfleisch (the Swiss version of Italian Bresaola -- air dried, cured beef) generally round out a raclette party.
Since we served raclette for our guests I had all of the ingredients in the fridge, but instead of pulling out the raclette melter (we have an electric one although in picturesque Swiss chalets it's reportedly made by leaning a half wheel of cheese near the fireplace) I popped a pile of steamed potatoes in an au gratin dish, added bits of ham, and topped with thick slices of raclette cheese. After a few minute under the broiler I sprinkled on something I have just recently discovered . . . Raclette spice. Apparently a Swiss favorite, the McCormick product is a combination of paprika, peppers, nutmeg, caraway seeds, garlic powder, coriander seed and cumin. Adds a nice hint of spice to the rich cheese.

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