Friday, January 25, 2008


Because it's snowing outside, I've been thinking about hot comfort foods. No, not the batch of warm, gooey oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I made this afternoon...wait, I guess I am still thinking of those. They are calling me from the kitchen! But I'm also thinking about what I'll be eating when we get to Toulouse. March and April will probably be a mixed bag of weather, as last time we were there. We had sun, snow and rain. Though I prefer Toulouse in the summer when I can sit outside and breathe in La France in the midst of sunflower fields, cold weather has it's benefits as well.

Namely, cassoulet and raclette. We've already discussed cassoulet, and you know I'll be consuming more than my fair share of it! But we haven't discussed raclette. Let me show you a picture of our last raclette meal:

So what is raclette, you ask. The cheese or the meal? According to Wikipedia (and I confirm) Raclette is both a type of cheese and, informally, a dish featuring the cheese.

So, Raclette The Dish is a meal originating from Switzerland (but common in France) where you place a nifty little apparatus center stage on the table, and cold, hungry people sit around as if it were a campfire, and melt their raclette cheese on personal-size pans under a broiler. When the cheese is good and bubbly, you pour it on assorted foods you've chosen from the buffet of offerings. Typically you have boiled potatoes, charcuterie, cornichons, and vegetables.

My favorite combo is the raclette over potatoes. I'm not a fan of cheese on pickles, but the meat and starches do me just fine.

Our friends tell us they often bring the raclette grill on skiing trips and have raclette for lunch in the ski lodge. What a wonderful idea! I can't imagine the looks we'd get if we brought one to, say, Mt. Bachelor. Who cares?! It would be fun, if we could find an outlet.

So the other night on Skype, our wonderful friends have confirmed that they will be giving us another raclette soiree to feast upon. Laughing, they reminded us of our very first raclette meal..... in the middle of August.

I'm glad we're going in Spring.


Pardon My French said...

I adore raclette and will eat cheese on just about anything, pickles included. Time to call up those friends who have one of the thingies and hint around for an invite...

La Belette Rouge said...

I have never had raclette. But, mium mium! Melted cheese with meet. That cannot be bad. And, over potatoes. Wow!! And, yet your cookies sound good too. I think I am hungry.

Cassoulet Cafe said...

I will try it on the pickles this time. :)

You better put raclette on your list of things to eat while in France....even in July! :)
And dang those cookies...."stop me oh oh oh stop me, stop me from eating those darn coo-oo-oo-kies"

(For those who don't know, the tune you need to sing it to is The Smiths - Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before)

Cécy said...

Ahhhh Raclette... Are you trying to make me drool? I love Raclette. I miss it. I found some Raclette cheese here and cooked some potatoes and added the cheese to it, but it's not the same as using the appareil à raclette.

Colleen said...

I love the gooey raclette cheese dish. A group of friend recently got together for a raclette party. We dubbed it "extreme raclette" due to the fact we added tomatoes, other types of cheese, meats, veggies you name it. We even did the wrestler was "EXTREME".

And speaking of sister used to eat pickle, cheese and ketchup sandwiches (cold). YUCK. She doesn't anymore.

Cassoulet Cafe said...

Ok, I'm going to have to do EXTREME raclette ;) in wrestler's voice, just for you.

And can I just say, EWWW! about the sandwich?

PS> Are you snowed in? :)

Colleen said...

Right now, I am laying on my bed with the drapes open looking at the slow covered trees. It's a rare treat and, yes, I'm staying home to work today. Crazy Seattle drivers.

My Inner French Girl said...

CC, now you've got me thinking about ways I can transform my pitiful George Foreman into a makeshift raclette maker/cheese melter. Yum! Oh, that looks heavenly. And yeah, I'm with LBR...over potatoes, any potatoes.


Betty C. said...

I am absolutely crazy about raclette -- which reminds me we've only done one this winter.

I was lucky enough to eat a real Swiss raclette once, where a huge piece of cheese was skewered on an outdoor contraption and scraped ("racler") off bit by bit. That was even more amazing!