Tuesday, December 20, 2011


One of the reason why I felt so compelled to get those gingerbread homes finished all alone the other night, was so they could be put in place in time for one of my favorite winter gatherings, the après ski {skiing optional}. The first layer of setting up a raclette bar in my kitchen is a little alpine scene.

Raclette is both a cheese and a party. It's a fun way to entertain in the winter, for large groups or small. Once things are set up, everyone has the best time making up their own perfect little snacks, all you have to do is keep the Chablis flowing. 

Raclette cheese is mild~nutty, it's commonly produced in regions of Switzerland and France. Many better grocery stores carry it in cut portions, or you can order a full wheel from the Valais region of Switzerland here. To join me on a visit to a cheese factory in that region, click on Simplon.

In the most simplistic version of the finished product, the melted cheese is poured {or scraped} over boiled potatoes. To make it more complex, you can add cured meats, pate, sausages and tomatoes {to be grilled}, cornichons, sour cherries and dijon mustard to the spread.

To make the raclette, I use machines like this, with a coated metal or granite top. Sausages and tomatoes can be cooked on the top.

Small trays {see them in the basket to the left of the cheese in the second photo above}, topped with cheese, slide under the grill. When the cheese is melted it's poured over the potatoes and other chosen savories.

Once devoured, guests can start all over again.

Any snow in your area?

We only have coconut so far.


Teresa Hatfield said...

Beautiful images, as always. Headed over to visit the cheese trip.
Have a Merry Christmas, Emily!

pretty pink tulips said...

A party built around cheese?! I'm in!

And, I had to laugh about the snow/coconut comment. So far...we've had snow in Oct and nothing but coconut in December!

Merry merry!!
xoxo Elizabeth