Raclette

Are you lactose intolerant? If so, take your pills and dig into an amazing, and simple meal – Raclette.

I’m in Switzerland right now. The mountains are spectacular, the chocolate is smooth, and the cheese is pure and unlike anything I’ve ever tasted. I’ve had tons of different Swiss cheeses so far; Emmentaler, Gruyère, Appenzeller, Formaggini, tons of others…and alas, Raclette.

The Swiss eat Raclette in a particular way, and I’d like to share it with you. First they make an outdoor fire, and keep it going long enough to get some good coals going. After the fire has produced a big batch of coals, you get started on the goodness. First, you need to build a holder for the hot coals. You put bricks together with a wire in front of them. Then you add the hot coals from the fire inside of the homeade “coal hut”.

The Raclette cheese round is heated in front of the hot coals on a wet board.

Then the heated cheese is scraped onto plates on top of warm potatoes.

Traditionally you eat the Raclette with gherkins and pickled onions. Check it out:

If you don’t have the time to build an elaborate fire pit, go to your local cheese shop, and simply melt Raclette cheese on top of warm, salted, potatoes. It’s heavenly.

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My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Everyone has a favorite chocolate chip cookie. Some are made with browned butter, some are made with soft, creamed butter, some are made with semisweet, bittersweet, or milk chocolate. My favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe contains yummy browned butter, and a mix of chopped semi-sweet chocolate, and chocolate chips.

Now, this is a special cookie. I have another quick (and freaking delicious) recipe for chocolate chip cookies, but this one takes a little extra care. Why? Because when you put time, care, and love into your baking, your finished product will be perfect.

How do you make browned butter? I’ll tell you! Start by melting 1 and 1/4 sticks of butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Keep swirling until butter has a delicate golden brown colour and a nutty aroma, about 3 minutes. Be careful to watch the butter and turn off the heat when it turns brown, or else you will burn it. When you heat the butter, it will boil and bubble and stay a bright yellow for a long time. At some point, it stops bubbling loudly and instead takes on a frothy texture. You can hear the sound difference in the cooking too. It is at this point that the you’ll see the liquid begin to brown. As soon as you see most of the liquid turn brown, turn off the stove.

After you’ve made a perfect browned butter, transfer it to a bowl and mix in the remaining butter until melted. Add the sugars, salt, and vanilla to the butter and mix well. Add the egg and the extra yolk; whisk until smooth, about 30 seconds. Let it rest for 3 minutes, then whisk again for about 30 seconds, before letting it rest again. You’ll want to whisk this about 4 times, until you have a thick, glossy, and smooth mixture. Then gently stir in the flour and baking soda just until combined. Stir in the chocolate.

Form dough balls about 3 tablespoons in size, and place them on a lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes, then put the baking sheet on a cooling rack and let the cookies cool on the sheets, and voila!

This recipe was taken from America’s Test Kitchen a long time ago. It’s a tried and true recipe, and you’ll love it guaranteed.

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 sticks butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg, plus 1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour and baking soda in a bowl. Whisk and set aside.
2. Melt 1 1/4 sticks butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Keep swirling until butter has a dark golden brown color and a nutty aroma, about 3 minutes. Transfer it to a bowl and mix in the remaining butter until melted.
3. Add the sugars, salt, and vanilla to the butter and mix well. Add the egg and the extra yolk; whisk until smooth, about 30 seconds. Let it rest for 3 minutes, then whisk again for about 30 seconds, before letting it rest again. You’ll want to whisk this about 4 times, until you have a thick, glossy, and smooth mixture.
4. Gently stir in the flour and baking soda just until combined. Stir in the chocolate.
5. Form dough balls about 3 tablespoons in size, and place them on a lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-14 minutes (Mine actually took 8-9. The first batch I set for 10 minutes and they were burned on the edges), then put the baking sheet on a cooling rack and let the cookies cool on the sheets.