Saturday, October 30, 2010

Raclette - October Unprocessed

Raclette? What? What's that? It sounds kind of .... French.

Well it is. Raclette is a semi-firm cow's milk cheese that is really good for melting. The dish began in Switzerland where it was originally left near the fire and it would start to melt and you would scrape ( the verb racler) it onto your plate to eat with items like small potatoes, gherkins, dried meat and bread.

There are 2 types, one that holds a large round of cheese and the other with a grilling top section and then little trays that slide in underneath that broil the cheese.  I wanted the grilling type.

In the summer, I went to a garage sale and they actually had one. Completely unused and they didn't have a clue what it was for. $20 later and it was mine.
My New Grill!!!

Have you ever fondued? Well I suppose this is kind of like that. You cook your own food.
I love fondue.

Anyways, I thought this would be good as October is Unprocessed Month over at Eating Rules and this is full of pure, simple foods.

I'm a mozzarella/cheddar girl and those have to be melted for me to eat them. I don't eat other cheeses except parmesan. I was in Quebec a few weeks ago to visit a friend and they had just had raclette the night before and told me all about it.   We visited the grocery store while I was there so I could pick up some snacks and they had  a ton of sliced fondue meats and also the raclette cheese which I decided to try.

There's no real recipe here.

Cooked food: 
Small potatoes - Steamed/boiled until cooked through. Placed in a bowl lined with a teatowel to keep warm.
Focaccia - I made Annalise Roberts' focaccia. Quick and easy

Raw food:
Shrimp - peeled and tail-off
Thinly sliced chicken breast
Partly steamed broccoli - just to give it a head start
Peppers - thinly sliced
Raclette cheese and mozzarella cheese
Onions - thinly sliced red onion
Ham - thinly sliced
Garlic butter

That's it.

Sit down to enjoy and cook.

Getting ready to move it all to the table
 I know you'll understand but I had to taste the focaccia to see how it turned out. Then I  ummm...had to try it with some olive oil and herbs. Then some olive oil, balsamic and herbs. Then others had to try it. So pardon it's shape  please.

Chicken, broccoli, onions, peppers and cheese

Okay so the focus is off but what do you expect? I have food in front of me. This is garlic buttered focaccia with cheese melted on it.
We had lots of extra trays so we could experiment. You can cook on top of the griddle or half on top/half broiled or fully broiled.

Some raclette ideas: 
Precook some chicken, broccoli, onions and peppers.  Add garlic butter to grill top if you like
Add these items to try and add cheese and broil until melty. Melty is a new word I use in cheese cooking.
Serve with bread.
You could even do it fajita style if you have some corn tortillas.


Garlic butter/focaccia/cheese

Shrimp/garlic butter/cheese - cooked until pink and cheese is melted

The true way: just cheese in the tray and then when it's melty, pour it on warm potatoes.
I did this just after I'd cooked the garlic shrimp so there was still garlic butter in my tray which drizzled on the potatoes. Oh my.
I wasn't expecting much from this. It's cheese. It's potatoes. But wow, cheese and potatoes...YUM!

A big salad started us off with my Greek Salad Dressing and I actually added a little bit ( 1/4-1/2 tsp) xanthan gum to help it stay in more of an emulsified state so it wouldn't separate as easily. Wonderful.

Simple. Pure. Good.

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