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Raclette (Ultimate Recipe Swap: Cheese)

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Years ago, almost twenty to be exact, I was une jeune fille americaine living in France. I left the States speaking horrific French, but not caring. It had been a lifelong dream to live in France, and I was going.

Thankfully, I had the opportunity to meet and dine with a number of French folk, and to be indoctrinated into the world of wonderful cheeses. And to brush up on my French.

Oh, sure, when I first got there, I reserved my purchases at the cheese counter to Mimolette, a soft orange cheese that reminded me of cheddar. But, as time went on and I rubbed shoulders with more of the natives, I got bolder to try different cheeses, loving the strong flavors and smells.

On occasion, my French family would break out the Fondue pot or the raclette machine and I would stuff myself on cheese and carbs, either baguette or potatoes, depending on which cheese dish was featured that night.

FishPapa came to visit me that year and we traveled throughout the South, visiting different areas and being regular tourists. Within a year of my return home to the States, we got married and flew back to France on our honeymoon. I assumed we would make it a yearly trip.

We haven’t been in years, almost twenty to be exact. But, I’ve got my eye on 2014.

Anyway, this post is supposed to be about cheese. And it is. Or will be eventually. My publisher sent me a copy of the lovely book La Bonne Femme Cookbook by Wini Moranville. I love it! It’s taken me back. I even dreamed of France the first night reading it.

So, a few days or so ago, I was strolling through Trader Joe’s thinking about France… and voila! In the cheese section there was raclette. And I had to buy some as well as some cornichons. I knew we had ham and new potatoes at home and on the spot, come pantry challenge or high water, I switched meal plans for the evening, so we could enjoy raclette.

I entertained visions of my children scarfing down melted cheese and potatoes and thanking their mama profusely for her kindness. Instead, they all plugged their noses and tried to hide from the delectable feast. Hubs and I looked at each other in disbelief. How could they respond this way?

Clearly, in 2014, it may be a second honeymoon.

Raclette is a cheese, traditionally a Swiss cheese, as in “made in Switzerland.” It does not have big holes like you may imagine when you hear the words Swiss cheese. But, my package of cheese was from France. So, whatever.

Hot and melty raclette is served with boiled new potatoes, baby pickles, and charcuterie (ham). It was a fantastic, easy supper. Whereas you can buy a unitasker machine specifically designed to melt the cheese and heat the other ingredients, I don’t have one. Instead, I warmed all the items that needed to be warmed, like ham, potatoes, and sauteed mushrooms. And then I broiled the cheese in a pan in the toaster oven. Not as fancy as the machine, but it worked.

I apologize for no photo. Our plates were so pretty. But the light wasn’t. Bummer. I guess I’ll need to make it again soon. On a date night. Without children.

This is by far a favorite cheesy recipe of mine. I would love to hear what YOUR favorite cheese recipes are! Share them with us today on Ultimate Recipe Swap.

Please note if you don’t post a recipe containing cheese, your post will be deleted. Thanks for understanding.

Ultimate Recipe Swap



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Comments

  1. That sounds so delicious! We are definitely cheese lovers around here but since we have 3 very young boys, I’m not very adventurous in my cheese buying. I need to start trying new ones. :)

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      If you go someplace like Whole Foods, they will let you taste the cheese before you buy. Trader Joe’s sometimes does that, too.

  2. I just got a whole raclette set. We had a “raclette party” in Germany and I’ve been wanting to try it again ever since! I got mine free playing word games at Club Bing, but I’m not sure it’s available as a prize any more.

  3. Oh I love cheese!!! It is one of my biggest weaknesses!

  4. How long do you broil the cheese for? Just until melty or with a little crisp to it?

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      Just until melty. The origins of this recipe are with Swiss shepherds who would allow the large wheel of cheese to melt near an open flame and then they would scrape the melted portions onto a plate with all the other goodies.

  5. Thanks for hosting! There’s a winery near us that makes raclette . . . so good.

  6. Cheese? We love cheese! Next time you go to Costco (and the Pantry Challenge has ended) look for a block of Coastal cheddar …. a nice DRY white cheddar from Britian … excellent … I have no cheese recipes to share … oh, but wait … maybe I do have something …

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      Thank you for reading the post! LOL I just deleted some recipes that were in no way cheese related. Too funny.

  7. Thank you for hosting. I can’t wait to see all the new recipes today.

    I shared my cheese soup recipe. You can always add things to it such as bacon. I usually serve this with breadsticks or biscuits.

  8. Oh raclette, how I love thee. My aunt introduced me to that dish years ago when I was visiting her — I’ve only ever eaten it at her house! She’s got the fancy cooker thing and it just feels so posh. Mmmm.

  9. That sounds so good…I think my husband would be the one to refuse it in our house, but my kids might eat it.

    I went to Paris when I was a student abroad in Cambridge, England. I was surprised at how much I loved it. I can’t wait to take my DH & kids back some day.

  10. Wow – France. What an amazing experience it must have been to live there!

    I am so not a cheese connoiseur but I love cheese! I must venture out other than my typical monterrey jack or mozzarella. Thanks for sharing!

  11. oh raclette… i love raclette this way, and once had raclette fondue! it was so amazing. i miss france.

  12. Trader’s Joe’s has raclette! YUM!!!

    I used to live in both France AND Switzerland, and I remember raclette. I also remember the entire aisle (center section in the grocery store like aisle–both sides) of cheese in France.

    And I remember those of us who had been having cheese tasting parites at college once we came home, with everyone searching out American sources for cheese, inlcuuding raclette. . .

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      It’s amazing how much the US and availability for Euro. products has changed in 20 years. It’s wonderful.

  13. Raclette is stinky, but doesn’t taste nearly that strong. My husband introduced me to it. He graduated from high school in Paris (he was a State Department brat) and we’ll be going back sans children this summer for his 20th reunion and our 15th anniversary. And we are hosting a Raclette dinner in less than two weeks. We were planning to go to Whole Foods for the Raclette, but I will have to check Trader Joe’s. Thanks for your impeccable timing.

  14. My mother was a French teacher. We lived in Germany for a long time when I was little and traveled a lot to France for history and skiing. My parents used to eat Raclette but all I remember is is smelled soooo bad that when she served it at our house (yes, she bought one of those fancy melting machines) I left for the ENTIRE weekend. The house smelled so bad, or so my bad mannered 11 year old senses thought. :-) We found Raclette once in the US at a fancy store in Kansas City when I was in high school and it’s actually not as smelly as I remembered from Europe and I thought it was quite tasty. Or maybe that’s the difference between real raclette and American raclette. Anyhow…We’re going to France this fall and I might have to have some. :-)

  15. I learn something new every day…raclette…maybe I can use that on “Words with Friends” some time! LOL! Thanks for sharing!

  16. Oh, wow…I haven’t had raclette since I lived in Germany. This was a popular meal to eat with friends. My German friends made this a lot because it’s easy and cheap and tastes really good ;) :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather ;)

  17. Ha ha, raclette! It’s our, hmmm, I don’t feel like cooking (in the winter) meal or when we invite people but don’t want to cook. The kids LOVE it. I never thought it was such a smelly cheese, but I guess it is. Nothing next to Munster though. That’s brutal! About that book. The cover is funny. I’d be interested to know what we cook every day over here! Probably a pretty cool cookbook, so show us your meals when you cook from it!

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      That’s exactly how I feel about the meal, casual but really yummy!

      You can read more about the book over here: http://chezbonnefemme.com/ She summers in France every year, and what I’ve read jives with my own experience. But, my experience is rather limited, malheureusement.

  18. Ahh how I love racelette! I married a French man and we make sure to fill up on all of the amazing French cheeses every time we go to France!

  19. I’ve loved raclette since working a season in Switzerland and having it done “properly” melted in front of an open fire. Never seems to taste quite right done any other way!

  20. I love this post. I could have almost written this post myself because it’s almost my story–even the honeymoon, the not going back enough, and the Trader Joe’s–EXCEPT that I am not sure if I’ve had raclette–what is wrong with me?! I brought home a love of other favorites, such as brie and camembert though. Anyway, I’m looking forward to trying this. Thanks!

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      It’s so fun that almost everyone has a raclette story. Who knew?

      • Except mine is a no-raclette story. I stopped by TJ’s after church and bought some raclette, mushrooms, cornichons, and red potatoes. I didn’t have your recipe with me, but those were suggested on the package. I’m looking forward to trying this, although this was a pricey meal for us, so I’m not sure it could be a regular. A treat, anyway. Thanks.

  21. Well, I made the raclette dish for the first time tonight. We liked it, and I think I’ll try it again. I went a little overboard with too many options, so I’d change that next time. Our favorites were the sauteed mushrooms and the cornichons. Also, I roasted some fresh jalapenos for my husband, and he enjoyed those as well. Thanks for the suggestion.

  22. Have you seen cornichons anywhere other than TJ’s? We don’t have that store down here yet, more’s the pity, and I love those little pickles. My parents have lived in France for the past 22 years, and I must eat at least two jars every time I visit. The baby pickles here just don’t seem the same. The ‘rents also have the raclette set and we make sure to have that meal once every time we’re there. I’ve never thought to try to do it at home. It might lose the “magic” if I did! I’ve seen escargot at Fresh Market, perhaps they have the pickles. I don’t shop there very often as the store is so pricey. The kid loves the snails, though, so it’s a great treat for him when I pick some up.

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      Costco had some smaller sized pickles from Poland. And I bet that World Market might carry cornichons as well. My guess is to check the gourmet section of a grocery store near you?

      • World Market! I bet you’re right, they are probably there. Thanks. Publix is great about ordering things if they don’t normally carry them, but I think you have to actually have a specific product to request. Costco-sized might be a bit much at this point.

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