Cheese of the Month: Raclette
The term “Raclette” can mean Raclette (the cheese), Raclette (the traditional Swiss dish featuring the cheese), or Raclette (the machine or grill or gadget used to heat the Raclette cheese for the Raclette dish). Confused yet? No need to be. Historically, Raclette was eaten by shepherds who held a chunk of the cheese over an open fire, then scraped the softened part of the cheese onto crusty bread or potatoes. Actually, the name “Raclette” is derived from the French verb “racler,” which means “to scrape”. Nowadays there are countless Raclette gadgets available, everything from a standing tabletop electric heater designed to hold a half or quarter-wheel, complete with a special “scraper”, to small nonstick rectangular “Barbeclettes” designed to heat individual portions on a gas or charcoal grill, to name just a couple. Prices for the various grades of gadgetry can run anywhere from $20.00 to over $200.00, but the great news is that you don’t need any of them to enjoy this delicious cheese.
Luckily, you can easily prepare this delightful cheese at home without the use of any special equipment. Simply scrape away the rind and cut the cheese into the size that you desire. Then, place it in an oven safe dish or cast iron skillet. Heat the cheese under the broiler a few inches from the heat until it softens and begins to puff and sizzle. (Watch carefully, this only takes a few minutes.) Remove from the oven and slide portions of cheese onto waiting plates of warm boiled potatoes and/or slices of crusty bread and enjoy! Garnish with small pickled onions and cornichons (small pickled gherkins) if you want to go the traditional route, or try assorted vegetables (broccoli and cauliflower are great) alongside the potatoes. Raclette is also delicious all on its own, or melted over a thick slice of ham on an open face sandwich.
November’s Fresh Deal Raclette du haut Livardois, regular price $15.49/lb, Fresh Deals price $14.99/lb. (Will be available starting November 5th)