Hans always looks for the raw milk cheese to purchase as it is far superior than the type made from pasteurized milk. We can find it in France, particularly at a farm fromagerie, but also at a supermarket there; in Canada, it is still produced and sold in Quebec, the only province I believe that allows it.
The Munster cheese above is from the Alsace. The words "Au Lait Cru" mean it is made from non-pasteurized milk.
One of our favourite suppers is raclette, using an electric raclette device that we bought some years ago in Gruyere, Switzerland. It is similar to the type used at the restaurants in Gruyere, where Hans and I had raclette on that same day trip.
Along with the cheese and potatoes, we have a mixture of sweet pickles, small white pickled onions and finely chopped coleslaw. You can also use mushrooms or vegetables of choice, such as cauliflower (which should be blanched or partially cooked first).
A 9-inch square baking dish is large enough for 2 to 4 persons. For the two of us, I use a round 8-inch pottery casserole that can be put in the oven.
Preheat oven to 400F/200C.
First, rub freshly cut garlic all over the inside of the dish. Butter the dish well. Place the sliced potatoes (as many as you want to use, raw or partially cooked) into the buttered and garlic-rubbed baking dish. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with nutmeg. Sprinkle with minced garlic; I mince the garlic used for rubbing the casserole dish plus one or two more, depending on the size of the cloves, but don't overdo it as you do not want the garlic to overpower the flavour of the gratin. (The additional garlic added is not part of the original recipe. I did not use all the garlic cloves shown below.)
Note: You can cook the potatoes first until they are almost but not quite tender (and then slice them), which means they will take less time to bake in the oven. Or you can slice them uncooked, which means they will take about 45 minutes more to bake than the cooked ones. Note: When using uncooked potatoes, you can instead place the casserole dish in a slower oven, 180F/80C to 250F/180C for one hour; then raise the temperature to 400F/200C and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and nicely browned. I have baked mine from the cooked and the uncooked state. It is definitely faster using cooked potatoes, but don't overcook them. Last week I used them raw.
This was our dinner last January: pepper steak flambeed with Armagnac, Steinpilzen (a special type of mushroom), broccoli, fennel and potato gratin.
This was our dinner a week ago: pepper steak flambeed with Cognac, gratin, caultiflower, brussel sprouts and carrots, with hollandaise sauce served separately.