When you're looking for a dinner party idea that is as easy as fondue, but slightly different, try hosting a raclette party. Raclette is a type of cheese from Switzerland that is prepared with vegetables on a special raclette grill. The grill heats numerous small pans in which each guest melts the raclette with vegetables and other toppings of his or her choice. All the host needs to do is supply the equipment and prepped cheese and vegetables. Then everyone can relax with a beverage of choice while their individual raclette pans cook. It couldn't get any easier!
1 kg Raclette potatoes (small, even-sized potatoes)
800 g Raclette cheese in slices
- Silverskin onions
- Mixed pickles
- Freshly milled pepper
Preparing and serving Raclette: Boil the potatoes in their jackets. Line a basket or bowl with a napkin and wrap the hot potatoes in it to keep them warm. Cut the Raclette cheese into pan-sized slices and set them out on a dish. Put bowls of trimmings, a pepper mill and paprika on the table.
Drinks with Raclette:
A dry white Swiss wine or rosé goes best with Raclette, though a cool light beer will do too. True connoisseurs recommend tea because it stimulates the digestion.
Before and after:
You can serve seasonal salad as a starter and finish off with a fruit sorbet, fresh fruit or a fruit salad for dessert.
Allow about 200 g of Raclette cheese and 200 to 250 g of potatoes per person. If you prefer, you can also serve crusty bread/baguette.
Do not cut off the rind: you'll get a crisp, flavorsome crust if you just scrape some of it away.
If any cheese is left over, wrap it in cling foil and it will keep for about 8 days.
When preparing Raclette in pans, make sure you don't overcook it, otherwise the albumin gets grainy and the fat separates.
Raclette can be prepared with any variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs, condiments, liqueurs and spices. Let your imagination go wild.
Recipe courtesy of Cheeses of Switzerland.