Ottawa Citizen

New Year’s Eve Ra­clette

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Ra­clette is the per­fect party food. Like fon­due, it’s all about melt­ing cheese. The big­gest dif­fer­ence is that ra­clette (the name of both the cheese used and the over­all dish) is grilled or broiled, rather than cooked in a pot.

Typ­i­cally, ra­clette is melted in in­di­vid­ual por­tions us­ing a spe­cial ra­clette grill. The cheese then is scraped onto a per­son’s plate over a serv­ing of boiled pota­toes, pick­led onions and gherkins or cor­ni­chons. Other ac­com­pa­ni­ments can in­clude ham or dried beef, along with var­i­ous veg­eta­bles and fresh bread.

Ra­clette grills usu­ally have two lev­els — a top for heat­ing veg­eta­bles or meat, and a lower broiler level for melt­ing the cheese. In­di­vid­ual pans are used for melt­ing the cheese. Ra­clette cheese is ob­vi­ously the most pop­u­lar cheese to use for the dish. If you can’t find it, an­other firm, easy-melt­ing Swiss cheese can be sub­sti­tuted, such as Em­men­taler. Start to fin­ish: 1 hour prep Serv­ings: 8

FOR THE POTA­TOES:

2 pounds (908 g) new or finger­ling pota­toes Kosher salt

FOR THE MAR­I­NATED VEG­ETA­BLES:

1/2 cup (120 mL) rice or sherry vine­gar 2 tbsp (30 mL) sugar 1 tsp (5 mL) kosher salt 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) smoked pa­prika 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) ground black pep­per 2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh thyme 1 cup (240 mL) frozen peeled pearl onions, thawed 3 red bell pep­pers, cored and sliced 1 pound (454 g) green beans, trimmed 12 ounces (340 g) small but­ton mush­rooms

FOR THE AC­COM­PA­NI­MENTS:

4 ounces (114 g) prosciutto 4 ounces (114 g) dry salami, sliced 1 pound (454 g) cooked, peeled shrimp 1/2 cup (120 mL) mar­i­nated ar­ti­chokes 1/2 cup (120 mL) gherkins or cor­ni­chons 2 pounds (908 g) ra­clette cheese, sliced 1. Heat the oven to 200 F. 2. To pre­pare the pota­toes, fill a large pot with the pota­toes and enough salted water to cover them by 1 inch (2.5 cm). Bring to a boil over medi­umhigh and cook for 15 min­utes, or un­til ten­der when pierced with a fork. Drain the pota­toes, then re­turn them to the pot, cover and place in the oven to keep warm.

3. While the pota­toes are cook­ing, start the veg­eta­bles. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the vine­gar, sugar, salt, pa­prika and black pep­per to a boil, stir­ring to dis­solve the sugar and salt.

4. In a large bowl, com­bine the thyme, onions, red pep­pers, green beans and mush­rooms. Pour the hot vine­gar mix­ture over the veg­eta­bles then set aside, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, for 20 min­utes.

5. To serve, fol­low the prod­uct di­rec­tions for heat­ing and us­ing your ra­clette grill. Use a slot­ted spoon to trans­fer the mar­i­nated veg­eta­bles to a plat­ter. Ar­range the pota­toes and other ac­com­pa­ni­ments in bowls or on plates at the ta­ble. Guests can heat their veg­eta­bles on the top of the grill and melt their cheese us­ing the grill’s broiler ac­cord­ing to prod­uct di­rec­tions. Top pota­toes with the veg­eta­bles and melted cheese. Nutri­tion in­for­ma­tion per serv­ing: 730 calo­ries; 360 calo­ries from fat (49 per cent of to­tal calo­ries); 40 g fat (23 g sat­u­rated; 0 g trans fats); 215 mg choles­terol; 41 g car­bo­hy­drate; 7 g fi­bre; 10 g sugar; 55 g protein; 1370 mg sodium

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