Quick Bites from Pender

Grilled Raclette with Carrot & Pepper Slaw

In Recipes on February 4, 2010 at 4:01 am

grilled-raclette-in-radicchio-cups

I first had the idea for raclette grilled in radicchio cups for a Sunday Lunch, and just did it on the fly, using the leftovers we had.  It was tasty, cheesy and melty in an opposite-to-Taco Bell kinda way — my first raclette experience, and I was game for more…

This time around I wanted to refine it, and bring some of the more traditional accompaniments onto the plate.  Traditional accompaniments?  I feel an historical interlude coming on…

radicchio

Raclette was mentioned in medieval writings as a particularly nutritious meal consumed by peasants in mountainous Switzerland. Swiss cow herders took cheese with them when moving cows to or from the pastures. In the evenings around the campfire, they would place the cheese next to the fire and, when it had reached the perfect softness, scrape it on top of some bread.  The term raclette derives from the French racler, meaning “to scrape”.

More modern interpretations serve grilled raclette with fingerling potatoes, gherkins, pickled onions, dried meats, sliced peppers and dusted with paprika and fresh-ground black pepper.

My version is served over pan-fried potatoes and a carrot-pepper slaw with a mandarin orange & fennel vinaigrette.

I will definitely make this again — a keeper. The gooey-drippy raclette/potato combination is reminiscent of fondue, but without the hassle.  The vinaigrette cuts the richness of the cheese — just when you think you’ve had enough melty goodness, a quick forkful of slaw cleanses your palate and you find yourself going back in for more.

A warming winter meal, that is pretty fast to prepare.  A great idea for a relatively easy, yet luxurious, main course for Valentine’s Day.  The recipe for the vinaigrette is below.  The rest is more a description than an actual recipe.

carrots-squared

Orange Fennel Vinaigrette

½ Orange, juiced 2 T 30 ml
White Wine Vinegar 2 T 30 ml
Dijon 1 t 5 ml
Vegetable Oil 1/3  C 80 ml
Garlic, minced ½ clove
Dried Thyme ½ t 3 ml
Fennel Seeds, cracked or coarsely ground ½ t 3 ml
S+P TT

T=tablespoon      t=teaspoon     C=cup     ml=millilitres  TT=to taste

Whisk together the orange juice, vinegar and dijon.  Continue to whisk as you slowly add the oil.   Whisk in remaining ingredients.  Allow to sit 5 minutes, whisk to recombine and taste.  Season with salt and pepper.

Tips:

  • I avoid all corn, canola and soybean oils because of my GMO concerns.  My basic veg oil is sunflower.
  • I allow the vinaigrette to sit for 5 minutes so that the flavours have a chance to combine before I taste it for seasoning.

carrot-pepper-salad

Preparation:

Peel and julienne (or grate) 2 medium carrots and half a large red pepper.  Cover with the dressing, and allow to marinate while you complete the rest of the dish. If you can marinate the slaw overnight, even better. (Makes 4 servings — the BEST leftover salad you have ever had.)

Peel and slice potatoes (1 per person) about 1/4″ thick.  Blanch in boiling salted water until firm but tender (3-5 min).  Drain the water and cool the potatoes in an ice-water bath.  Drain and dry.

Separate radicchio leaves from each other and arrange on a pan.  Lightly brush the inside of the cups with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Fill each cup with approx 1 oz (30 g) grated raclette.  We had 1 cup each, but wanted more, so maybe plan for 2 each?

Preheat the broiler in your oven (I used our counter-top oven, and got better results than I would have in our big, cavernous, little-used range oven.

Fry the par-cooked potatoes in butter/oil until golden brown, seasoning well with salt and pepper.  Drain the potatoes on paper towels.  While the potatoes are cooking, broil the radicchio cups in the oven until well melted, but not too brown (3-5 min).  Be ready to serve everything immediately once the cheese is ready.

Serving:

Arrange the potatoes in a circle in the middle of the warmed plate.  Drain the carrot-pepper slaw well, then place a small handful in the middle of the potatoes, forming a mound.  Top with a grilled radicchio cup.  Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over the cheese before you dive in!

If you want more than 1 cheese cup per person, pop the 2nd batch of them into the oven as you’re sitting down to the table.

grilled-raclette-with-potatoes

Orange Fennel Vinaigrette

½ Orange, juiced

2 T

30 ml

White Wine Vinegar

2 T

30 ml

Dijon

1 t

5 ml

Vegetable Oil

1/3  C

80 ml

Garlic, minced

½ clove

Dried Thyme

½ t

3 ml

Fennel Seeds, cracked or coarsely ground

½ t

3 ml

S+P

TT

T=tablespoon      t=teaspoon     C=cup     ml=millilitres

TT=to taste

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  1. That looks so healthy and yummy, loved it. 🙂

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