If you are Swiss – stop reading here and wait for my next post. If not, please continue.
Sit back, close your eyes, and try to imagine how a typical Swiss winter weekend is spent. What did you come up with? Let me guess: waking up to blue sky and sunshine in a remote wooden chalet amongst meters of powpow. The day is started with freshly baked bread and hot chocolate, before taking to the slopes (mind you, by this time it’s probably only just gone 08:30 am). After a full days of skiing you slide into the local après ski bar for a glas or two of mulled wine before returning to your chalet and pampering yourself, especially your muscles, in the in-house sauna or steam-bath. Showered, relaxed and changed you gather around the fireplace and commence with an apéro, probably consisting of some bubblies, Hobelkäse and Bündnerfleisch. And dinner? Well, cheese of course. There’s nothing like melted cheese served with potatoes, grilled veggies, garlic and meats, a.k.a Raclette (wohooo low carb!!). The food-belly will be painful, but worth it – no better way to digest than with a sip of Kirsch whilst enjoying fire number two, before heading to bed. And tomorrow? Well, naturally, REPEAT, with cheese fondue instead. Sound about right?
Now, what on earth do the Swiss do when it snows and rains all day? Get all dressed up in ski-gear and watch ski-racing from the sofa, prior to commencing the daily apéro a few hours early? Exactly right. Also exactly how I spent my past weekend (minus the ski-gear, in-house sauna and steam-bath, add the onesie). It was glorious, you should try it.
1000g Raclette Cheese, sliced
1 kg potatoes
one jar of pearl onions
one jar of pickled gherkins
one jar of pickled mini corncobs
salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, raclette spice (if available)
1 pepper, sliced into strips (optional)
1 Zucchini, sliced (optional)
300g button mushrooms, sliced (optional)
4 cloves of garlic, finely sliced (optional)
a few rashers of streaky bacon (optional)
a few spicy sausages, sliced (optional – i used chorizo)
or even meat, chicken, fish – go wild!
One raclette oven with grill function
- Now, traditionally Raclette is a cheese and potato only affair. However, not only do the grill/extra’s add a nice touch, they also offer a delightful alternative for the not so cheesy guests.
- Before setting your table, bring a large pan of water (with some salt) to boil. Once boiling, add your potatoes and cook until just soft (at least 10-15 mins, depending on the size).
- Now set the table: place your raclette oven in the middle as a centrepiece and fill bowls with your various chopped vegetables and meat extras.
- Turn on the oven to the second highest heat. Brush the grill with a bit of oil.
- Once the potatoes have cooked, drain and pop into a cozy potato basket (yes, these actually exist, they are like sleeping bags for potatoes, cute!).
- Let everyone serve themselves with cheese, potatoes and extras. Cook the extras on the grill on top, and melt the cheese individually in the little black pans. Season accordingly.
- EAT EVERYTHING.
Unless you don’t like cheese you can’t go wrong with this dish. Also, no chef skills required:-)