Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Preparing Raclette is as Easy as Pie

Eating Raclette is as easy as boiling potatoes! These are the main ingredients but any can be easily modified to suit your personal tastes & budget:

* Raclette cheese - (or any semi-soft cheese will do) Try: Emmental, Edam, Gouda or Irish Cheddar. Plan for about 4 oz per person. Note: Raclette cheese is mostly imported, and as such, on the pricier end of cheese.
* New Potatoes - (the little ones) but really, any potato will do. Try: colorful varieties if available.
* Dried or Cured Meats, charcuterie - Try: air-dried beef, prosciutto or parma ham from your deli counter but even sandwich ham will do.
* Pickles, cornichons - any pickled or fresh vegetable will do. Try: pickled artichoke hearts, asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes or fresh purple onions, bell peppers, or tomatoes for colors.

First, boil or bake the potatoes in their skins and place them on a serving plate, cutting the larger ones in half. Arrange thinly sliced meats on another plate. Slice pickles and any other veggies you desire and place in separate dishes that can be passed around. Cutting off the rind, slice Raclette thinly (Personally, I like the rind but it's not so great for melting.)

With a microwave:
Each person can arrange onto their own small* microwave safe plates whatever combination variety they want, placing the most important ingredient, the Raclette cheese, on top. Microwave until just melted. (*any size is fine but the idea is to nibble and nosh leisurely around the table and to enjoy the food and company, refilling your plates as desired.)

With an oven:
Same idea, but with small oven safe dishes. Place them all on a baking tray and grill until melted. Keep the oven warm for another round!

Not necessary, but rounding out the meal is also easily solved. Just add a hearty brown bread, a crusty bread, or any bread you have on hand with a simple packaged salad as side dishes.

Beverages well suited to a Raclette meal are white wine, a dark ale, beer or hot tea. These are said to aid in digestion of the decadent, high fat content meal... but who's thinking about calories at this time of year!

Advanced Raclette Dining
For the full Swiss experience, the Raclette Grill turns the meal into an occasion with lasting memories. The Swiss will lounge around the dinner table for a few hours, slowly enjoying this luxurious yet casual meal. Make sure there's a free flow of wine, beer and hot water for tea which will guarantee a glorious experience! Raclette grills have two levels: the top is for grilling your vegetables and meat, the bottom for melting the decadent, creamy cheese on top of your individualized creation-combination, or, solely for melting the cheese to pour atop the creation on your plate!

This video shows you just how easy Racletting is!

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