Brrr…Baby it’s cold outside! We probably would all rather be somewhere warmer but I don’t think it exists in the continental USA right now.
So let’s bundle up and make the most of it! Let’s think positive and enjoy the good things about winter – we nest, we snuggle around the fire and we get together with friends for games, good food and company! This past week, we were invited over my friend Janet and Lou’s for a night of raclette and cards. If you haven’t had raclette yet – you need to try it! It’s such a fun casual meal to share with friends.
Raclette is a dish indigenous to parts of Switzerland. The Raclette cheese round is heated, either in front of a fire or by a special machine, then scraped onto diners’ plates; the term raclette derives from the French word racler, meaning “to scrape,” a reference to the fact that the melted cheese must be scraped from the unmelted part of the cheese onto the plate. Traditionally the melting happens in front of an open fire with the big piece of cheese facing the heat. One then regularly scrapes off the melting side. It is accompanied by small firm potatoes , gherkins, pickled onions, and dried meat.
I was asked to bring an appetizer and not wanting to take away from the flavors of the raclette, I opted for stuffed dates.
This is a Giada De Laurentis recipe – easy to make and easy to eat. The saltiness of the prosciutto complements the sweetness of the dates. Add to that – the pungent taste of goat cheese combined with fresh basil and you have a little appetizer that dances in your mouth.
Speaking of fresh basil, I found this little bunch of fresh basil at my local grocery store. It’s hydroponic – you simply keep it going in a glass of water. I hope it takes me to spring (as long as I keep it watered!).
Simply combine the cheeses with the fresh basil. Season with salt and fresh cracked pepper.
Pitt the dates, gently pull apart, stuff and wrap in Prosciutto.
Easy to make. Delicious! And – beautiful on a platter!