This is actually a winter dish in Switzerland (like Fondue), but it was nice and cold enough the other day, to eat raclette at night outside. Normally you'd use a special raclette grill for this dish, but since I don't have one here, my favorite toaster oven worked just fine.
I think it's most fun to eat this with several people as you're grilling the cheese directly at the table.
for 2 people:
about 300 g gruyère cheese (from Trader Joe's); if you like a stronger cheese taste, you might want to find an aged gruyère (sometimes at TJ's as well)
small potatoes (as many as you think you can eat)
pickled pearl onions
Cut the cheese into thin slices (1/8", a few mm) with a sharp knife. Arrange on a plate and set aside.
Wash the potatoes (don't peel the skin) and microwave them until they're almost completely cooked. This takes only about 2-3 minutes if the potatoes are small.
Preheat a toaster oven to about 400 F. (180 C.)
When you're ready to eat, cut the potatoes lengthwise in half, arrange on your baking dish, put a few slices of cheese on top, sprinkle with paprika and grill until cheese is melted and has a nice, brownish color.
Only put as much at a time in the oven as you can eat in a short amount of time as the cheese will become rubbery if it gets cold.
Eat immediately while hot with a few pickled cucumbers and pearl onions. I like to drink a dry white wine with this dish.
En guete! (Enjoy your meal in 'swiss-german').