Melting, ooey-gooey cheese is the perfect treat for cold weather. Plus it requires, at least in my house, a communal sharing amongst close friends.
Traditionally, Raclette cheese was placed over an open fire and melted slowly. As the cheese melted it was scraped off the wheel and served with boiled potatoes, crusty bread, cornichons (pickles) and other pickled vegetables.
If you are one of the lucky ones to own a Raclette Machine (with heated coils) or a Raclette Grill (with warmer trays) you can set the equipment right on the table and feast away.
No equipment? No problem. Little need be in your way to host a Raclette party of your own. Just slice about a quarter ounce of cheese per person and remove the rind. Place it in an oven-safe dish and heat in the oven at 400 until melted. Or, place the slices in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat until melted.
The Perfect Raclette Meal
The Bread: Find the best crusty, French or Italian bread or stick with tradition and use a dense, dark bread
The Accompaniments: Boiled potatoes for sure, prosciutto or dried beef, sliced apples, grilled mushrooms, roasted asparagus, grilled flat iron steak, cornichons, pickled onions, caper berries.
What to drink: Typically beer is the beverage of choice but Kirsch, Riesling, and black teas all work well.
Eat some greens: I always serve a green leafy salad alongside this rich dish to breakup the richness of the cheese.