Potato “nachos” with smoked raclette, spinach & caramelized onion A gourmet French version of the classic game-day snack. Fire up the oven!
Looking for an easy nacho recipe that’s a bit… different?
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love nachos – so full of crunch, oozing cheese and savoriness, they’re pretty hard to resist! But today I wanted to give the traditional corn nachos a French twist. And raclette, the famous melting cheese from the Alps, was the inspiration.
Raclette, the Alpine melting cheese, makes these the best nachos you’ll ever taste
Raclette is traditionally melted over a wood fire. When enough of the cheese has melted, it’s scraped off (racler) and served with boiled potatoes, cornichons or dried meats. So here baked potato chips stand in for the corn chips that are normally used for nachos. The potato chips are then sprinkled with raclette (I chose a smoked one here, but regular raclette is also delicious!), caramelized onions and wilted spinach.
These nachos are so sinful; it’s hard to stop eating them!
The caramelized red onions are a bit sweet and pair marvelously with the slightly nutty, smoky melted cheese. As for the wilted spinach, it not only adds a bit of color; it also brings a mellow contrast to the dish.
So here’s to potato “nachos”… and raclette!
Food & drink pairing: Hard cider with gourmet potato “nachos”
A sparkling hard cider is delicious here. It pairs wonderfully with the nutty cheese and the sweet onions. Plus it keeps the richness of the dish in check.
Potato “nachos” with smoked raclette, spinach & caramelized onion
serves 4 to 6
active time: 30 min
For the onion
- 1 medium red onion
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
For the spinach
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
- 2 garlic cloves – skinned and finely chopped
- 8 oz (225 g) baby spinach
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 10 oz (285 g) baked or regular potato chips
- 12 oz (340 g) smoked raclette, regular raclette, smoked cheddar or fontina – coarsely grated
- 1 large jelly roll pan (14″ x 17″) – lined with parchment paper
- Preheat the oven to 375 °F (190 °C).
- Step 1: Cut both ends of the onion, remove the skin and cut the onion in half lengthwise. Then, following the grain of the onion slices, cut each half lengthwise in 1/8″ slices. You should have about 3 cups of sliced onions. Place in a bowl and set aside. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and onion and toss well. Sauté for 8 to 10 minutes until golden-brown, tossing from time to time. Add the salt, pepper and balsamic, toss again and continue to sauté for a few seconds until the balsamic has evaporated and glazed the onion slices. Transfer back to the bowl and set aside.
- Step 2: Return skillet to stove over medium-high heat. Add the oil, cayenne and garlic. Sauté for 30 seconds until the garlic releases its flavor, but don’t let it brown. Add the spinach and toss until just wilted. Add the salt and continue to toss for a few seconds until the pan juices have evaporated. Transfer to a sieve or colander to let the juices drain and set aside. (If the juices from the spinach are not drained, they’ll make the potato chips soggy.)
- Step 3: Spread half the potato chips on the prepared jelly roll pan. Top with half the grated cheese, spinach and onions. Repeat to make another layer, starting with the potato chips. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the cheese has melted. Slide the parchment paper with the potato “nachos” onto a serving tray or board and serve immediately.
- Cook’s note: The caramelized onion and wilted spinach can be prepared up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated. Only assemble and bake the nachos when you’re ready to serve; otherwise, the potato chips will get soggy.