Raclette is a Swiss and French cheese whose name comes from the French word, “racler”, which means “to scrape”. The traditional way of serving raclette is to set a hunk of the cheese before an open fire and scrape the melted cheese onto dark break or boiled potato slices. This version is less rustic, more urban. Potatoes are boiled, then sliced into thick slabs or rounds, topped with cheese and broiled for a few minutes. Still good. Try to use large or largish potatoes for this. They slice up thick better. Good substitutes for raclette: gruyère, emmental, jarlsberg, fontina, oak, cheddar.
1 1/2 lbs (baking) potatoes
8 oz or so raclette cheese
pepper, to taste
paprika, to taste
pickles, for serving, optional (but very French)
1. Put potatoes into a saucepan and add enough cold water to cover by an inch. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender but not mushy. Drain.
2. Preheat the broiler. Set an oven rack about 6″ away, not too close to the heating element. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel if you like. Cut into thick rounds or long, thick slices. Arrange on a cookie sheet.
3. Cut cheese so it will fit the potato shapes. You can use more than one slice of cheese per potato
potatoes if you like. It all melts. Arrange on potatoes. Sprinkle with pepper and paprika.
4. Put potatoes under the broiler until the cheese is browned and bubbly, about 4 – 5 minutes. Watch that they don’t burn. Serve with pickles, if you like.