Bring in Da Funky Cheese!

So the 2011 Winter Stinky Cheese Festival  came and went last week and I was rather sad to not have partaken in the funkadelic events. The festival, now in its fourth year, was created by the Tour de France restaurant group (Pigalle, Nice Matin, Marseille, Cafe D’Alsace, French Roast, Le Monde, L’Express, and Maison). It is a 10-day fete to all things Frenchy, moldy, stinky wedded in dairy. Well, if I can’t get to the festival this year with baby in tow, then I will bring the festival to me!

Inspired by an email from my cousin who is currently spending a week in the Swiss Alps, I created a light lunch that one would have after a morning on the slopes: raclette, salad, charcuterie, home-made pickled onions, fresh fruit, and a bottle of Chablis.

My first trip to the City of Light was in fall 2003; there were many firsts during this trip, including my first taste of Raclette. Oh, what a little Raclette can do–or in this case, A LOT of Raclette, accompanied by a light salad of romaine hearts, grape tomatoes, and a red wine and shallots vinaigrette.  To give the menu a bright kick, make some home-made pickled onions which are really simple to prepare: finely slice 1 small red onion and 1 sweet onion, toss with red wine vinegar, salt, sugar and red chile flakes (1 tablespoon of each), 5 slightly crushed juniper berries, cracked peppercorns and 2 bayleaves. Mix together all the ingredients in a jar or bowl and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes.

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