The holidays are near, and you want to entertain at home with some close friends.
What to do that’s simple, fun, and allows you to talk to your friends? Think raclette- a modern day fondue. You provide the raclette maker, cheese, ham, cornichons, and pickled onions. Your guests can bring the rest. Pull out the Scrabble and Connect 4 games, light the fire, and start the crowd control.
2 pounds raclette cheese with rind, preferably French
- 1 ½ pounds new red potatoes, boiled
- pound Black Forest ham, sliced
- 1 jar cornichons, (8 ounces) drained
- 1 jar tiny pickled onions, (8 ounces) drained
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Kosher salt
1. Cut the cheese into 4×2-inch rectangles that are 1/4 inch thick so that it fits into the cheese trays and so that it melts easily.
2. Place the sliced cheese on a serving platter along with the ham, cornichons, and onions. The boiled potatoes can be left in a casserole dish with a lid to keep them warm. Put the nutmeg, salt, and pepper in little piles on a separate dessert plate.
3. Use a raclette maker to melt the cheese according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Have your guests assemble their plates as follows:
- Place some potatoes on the plate, top with melted cheese and smash together.
- Add some ham, cornichons, and onions to the plate.
- Sprinkle everything with nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
- Enjoy every forkful!
About the author: Connie’s love of raclette began in 1985 when she and her husband invited friends over to enjoy the tradition during the holidays. Connie, a home chef, is the author of “Scratch That: Seasonal Menus and Perfect Pairings,” which is organized into seasonal menus and wine pairings, and has many color photos.
Connie appears frequently on Chicago television doing cooking segments using seasonal ingredients, and enjoys radio interviews and call-in questions from listeners. Connie began cooking on her rural Kansas farm as soon as she could read. She snips fresh herbs from her rooftop garden in downtown Chicago to add instant flavor to soups and salads, and cooks a new vegetable every week. For more information, visit conniefairbanks.com. Follow her bi-monthly blog, and her Tips of the Day on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.