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December 2007 Issue
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!!
by Rossana S. Tarantini
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And we always do New Year’s Eve at home. Over the years, that tradition has changed slightly. It used to be a family fondue dinner after which we’d play board games, or just sit and chat with friends until time to “ring in the baby year”. As the kids got older, we held on to the family dinner, always a fondue, but afterwards, as will happen as they turn from children to teens to adults, the kids would leave to join friends for the “ringing in”. We sometimes have friends in, we sometimes don’t.

A year or two ago, we added raclette (recipes follow; with thanks to an old employer for both the introduction to raclette and the basic recipe ideas) to the fondues and started a new, improved tradition.

This year, since most of our friends are heading out to an event held by; we were prevailed upon to join them, as we would for other such events. Much as I know it’s ok to do so, my heart just won’t let me. New Year’s Eve will find us at home for fondue and raclette, with some friends and the kids. But I know that after dinner, it will most likely end up being just my partner, Larry, and myself at home while everyone goes off to their festivities.

That’s ok too. Ringing in the baby year with your life partner is the best way to do it.


Traditional Swiss Raclette

This is an adaptation of the recipe recommended by a company I worked for, for their raclettes.

A traditional raclette is most often a simple meal in and of itself that makes it easy to enjoy as everyone cooks up their own selections to their liking. Often accompanied by dried meats, such as prosciutto or salami, baguettes, nuts, cut up veggies, gherkins and pickled onions, it can stand alone. Because, at New Year’s, we add a raclette to our traditional fondue dinner, we usually try to keep it simpler, by doing the boiled potatoes (this year we’ll be using baby purple potatoes) and cheese only. Quite often though, we’ll find some of the meats cut up for fondue making their way onto the raclette grill. Most raclette grills come with a cast aluminum grill plate, but last Christmas I received a marble slab for the grill as a gift and I LOVE the effect. If you get the chance, try it!!!

  • 2 lbs baby potatoes
  • 1 ½ lbs raclette cheese, sliced
> Scrub the potatoes and boil them unpeeled until tender, then slice. Because I usually use baby potatoes, I only slice them in half crosswise, but if you’re using larger potatoes, then slice them about a quarter inch thick. Into one of the raclette “pans”, place a slice of cheese and slide it under the grill to become all melty and bubbly, then scrape it onto the potatoes. Sometimes, we’ll put the potatoes into the pan and then top with the cheese to let it all grill together, sometimes we’ll grill the cooked potatoes on the raclette before scraping the melted cheese onto them. Season with a grinding of fresh pepper and enjoy. Tip: Experiment with other types of cheeses such as Tilsit, Grey Alp Cheese, Appenzeller & Emmental. We’ve also used Cheddar, Friulano and Mozzarella to great success. The limits really are your own imagination and tastes.

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