I've resisted the urge over the years to get a fondue pot. Small apartment living has made me deny any one trick ponies into my kitchen, even if their one trick is really worthwhile. It's the same reason I don't have a tagine.
But when I saw the contest this week, I knew it was beshert, or meant to be, because I had just purchased a big wedge of raclette from a fromagerie in Tel Aviv.
I was faced with a challenge, however. I don't have a fondue pot. Nor do I have an open fire or raclette grill, a device for melting reclette just right so it can be scooped and enjoyed with boiled potatoes.
I decided to make a sort of raclette fondue hybrid by melting raclette cheese with white wine in the traditional fondue style, then drizzling it over small boiled new potatoes, to be enjoyed in the traditional raclette style. In this way it becomes more of a plated appetizer, a fusion of two great Swiss melted cheese dishes.
This came out better than I ever could have expected. The wine and garlic came through in just the right way, the sharp raclette mellowed, and the potatoes provided the perfect melted cheese vehicle. It was an excellent starter. Filling enough that it sated our appetite while I prepared the rest of dinner, but not so heavy that it made us skip dinner. And, the best part, it came together in well under half an hour. Boiling the potatoes was the longest part.
I served this on one large plate for my husband and I to share, but it could also be served on individual salad plates for a sit down dinner. Or, you could quarter the potatoes and stick toothpicks in them to serve this as an hors d'oeuvre. - kmartinelli —kmartinelli
Test Kitchen Notes
When you have a hankering for cheese fondue and don't want to make a fuss or don't have a fondue pot, this is for you! It comes together quickly and is immensely satisfying. I served it as an appetizer and my guests fought over the last couple of potatoes. I would love to add some chopped cornichons as a garnish and extra flavor bite on my next go around. Yum! —sticksnscones
A native New Yorker, I recently moved to Be'er Sheva, Israel with my husband while he completes medical school. I am a freelance food and travel writer and photographer who is always hungry and reads cookbooks in bed.