- Procure some raclette cheese. French will do, but Swiss, which is harder to find, is the one I know and love best.
- Slice cheese thinly in long strips, and arrange them flat in a broiler-proof small dish, like the one pictured in this photo (you eat directly from the dish — is there any greater simple pleasure in life, really?) Don't skimp here. Cover that dish entirely and pile the cheese on well. This IS the whole meal.
- Boil a couple of potatoes.
- When potatoes are done, simply place dish of cheese under broiler a few minutes until melted. Serve with a few pickled onions and pickle slices, and add a dash of paprika in the center of the cheese.
- Serve and eat with potatoes, taking care to smother each bite in the gooey, pungent, alpine cheese and enjoy with a crisp white wine and extra pickles. If possible, follow meal with a frigid moonlit walk to aid digestion. (NB: This meal is best enjoyed after rigorous activity and during the coldest nights of the year).
Since I'm not writing in Swiss German (nor can I, at all), I'm sure few readers will know what this picture represents but I promise, it's worth knowing about. Especially if you are a cheese lover. And of all the things my kid is allergic to, I have to say, I thank our lucky stars all the time that she is fine with dairy because cheese is literally my favorite thing. The thing many, if not most, of my fondest memories are attached to since childhood. So what is this delicious, ridiculously cheesy dish? It's Swiss Raclette. Here's how to prepare it:
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For the New York Times for Kids, I reported on tasty ways 5 Different Hot Chocolates from Around the World are prepared and savored.
For the Washington Post Kids Post, I spoke to an edible bug expert in Brooklyn, and wrote about how we can eat our way to sustainable future—with an important caveat and warning at the end, for those of us with food allergies!
This old-school parenting hack I wrote about for LifeHacker will make your breakfasts a breeze, and allow for two family meals, some days.
My essay about leaving my career to cook for my allergic kid, published by Allergic Living magazine.
My essay about the challenges of holidays with How the Grinch almost stole our gingerbread house.
About the Author
I'm Lorraine Allen, and when our daughter was diagnosed with multiple severe food allergies in infancy, a decade ago, I decided to freelance from home so that I could also care and cook for her. Because I grew up all around the world, it's important to me that she be able to enjoy all sorts of international food. I've learned, throughout this process, that even a large number of severe allergies and restrictions does not stop a person from eating well. On the contrary, by forcing us to focus so much attention on what we consume, we've gained a whole new appreciation for good food, and ironically, we all enjoy a healthier diet than before this diagnosis. This site is where we share some of our delicious egg-free, nut-free, shellfish-free (and often vegan and gluten-free) experiments and successes in the kitchen. Guten Appetit and thanks for reading!