Couglette is the WSU Creamery spin on Raclette: a Swiss wintertime favorite. This is less a recipe and more a guide to a simple yet very enjoyable snack — perfect for any gathering of friends or family.

Raclette is a meal in which cheese is melted over small boiled potatoes and topped off with ground pepper. It can even be enjoyed with cocktail onions and gherkins. This is a satisfying dish, rich in Swiss tradition.

In Switzerland, Raclette is made with Raclette cheese, Raclette potatoes and a Raclette machine. The name “Raclette” is derived from the French word ‘racle’: to scrape. Raclette cheese is melted on the Raclette machine, scraped off, and placed on top of the cooked potatoes.

Fortunately for us Americans, Raclette can be enjoyed without all of the fancy cookware. For your enjoyment, the Creamery has concocted a version of its own. Here’s what you will need:

  • Allow 4 ounces per person of Cougar Gold or any Cougar cheese you like
  • Small, firm red potatoes
  • Cocktail onions and/or gherkins
  • Paprika and black pepper
  • A griddle or frying pan
  • (optional) Thick sliced ham
  • (optional) Sliced peppers, tomatoes, onion, mushrooms . . . you get the idea

Boil unpeeled potatoes until cooked. Arrange platter of vegetables and meats to accompany the Couglette. When potatoes are done, drain the water and place them in a covered dish or pot to stay warm.

Place thick slices of Cougar cheese on your griddle or pan and melt it at low heat. Once the cheese has melted, scrape it from the pan with a spatula and place on top of slightly mashed potato.

Afterwards, generously sprinkle with paprika and black pepper and garnish with ham, veggies, gherkins, cocktail onions… This isn’t an exact science, so use your imagination! The purpose of the Raclette (or Couglette) experience is to foster companionship – similar to a fondue party.