Ina’s Recipe for this decadent potato, sausage and melted cheese dish is a must-make.
Over the holidays, I was intrigued to see Raclette, the superb melting cheese from Switzerland, at Trader Joe’s. I thought about making Fondue but lost custody of my Fondue pot in a long-ago divorce. Andrew and I never replaced it. Then Ina Garten’s “Modern Comfort Food” (Clarkson Potter 2020) arrived with an irresistible recipe called Baked Raclette. A seasonal item long gone from Trader Joe’s, I was excited to find Raclette at Whole Foods. Once home, I made Ina’s winning recipe. Fingerling potatoes are first boiled, then steamed. They join fresh Spanish Chorizo sausages that have been browned, a little wine, salt, and pepper in gratin dishes. The Raclette is sliced and arranged in one layer over the potatoes and Chorizo. Thyme sprigs complete the dish which is baked until the cheese is hot and bubbly. Served with a great baguette, Dijon mustard, and a green salad, this truly is: Modern Comfort Food.
Raclette is both a cheese and the name of a dish.
The actual name of this Swiss cow’s milk cheese is Raclette de Valais for the mountainous Alpine regions where it is made. The French on the other side of the Alps also make Raclette. The name comes from the French word ‘racler’ –to scrape which is how the cheese is most commonly eaten. Traditionally, cow herders carried the cheese with them when they were moving cows to or from Alpine pastures. In the evening, the cheese would be placed next to the campfire for softening, and then it was scaped onto bread. Astonishingly, dishes of melted cheese were mentioned in medieval texts from Swiss convents as early as 1291. Here’s the recipe for Ina’s Baked Raclette, followed by some other melted cheese dishes to enjoy.
Ina Garten's Baked Raclette
- 1 lb. fingerling potatoes, preferably all of equal size for even cooking
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 8 oz. fresh Chorizo Sausages halved lengthwise and then cut ½ inch thick diagonally
- 1/3 cup dry white wine such as Chablis
- 8 oz. cold Raclette cheese, rind removed and thinly sliced
- 6 to 8 sprigs of fresh thyme
- Green Salad with Vinaigrette Dressing
- Crusty French Bread and Dijon mustard for serving
- Optional: 12 Cornichons pickles sliced into a fan shape*
- Pickles are verboten in our house but traditionally Raclette is always served with them.
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 450 degrees
- Step 2 Place the potatoes in a medium pot, cover with one inch of water. Add one tablespoon of salt, bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a paring knife. Drain the pot and cover it with a tea towel to steam the potatoes for 5 minutes. Cut each potato in half lengthwise and set aside.
- Step 3 Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of good olive oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add the chorizo and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, turning often until browned. Drain all but a tablespoon of fat from the pan. Add the potatoes and toss to combine with the chorizo and fat. Take the pan off the heat, stir in the wine, season with 1 tsp. salt and ½ tsp. pepper.
- Step 4 Divide the sausage and potatoes among four gratin dishes. Arrange the raclette in one layer over the potatoes and chorizo. Distribute the thyme sprigs on top. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and hot.
- Step 5 Remove the gratins from the oven and serve with the Green Salad, the bread, mustard, and cornichons, if using.