Fall is upon us with bright leaves and cooler days that call for warm meals filled with scrumptious flavours. It is when we start planning meals with family and friends in the warmth of our home. We are all busy and an easy option, a raclette, is a fun stress-free meal to share that can create memorable gatherings. There is no cooking in advance – except to boil some potatoes – and the preparation is limited to chopping up a few vegetables and plating up the cheese. What could be easier!
A raclette is a dining experience where each person can create their own meal. The word “raclette” comes from the French word “to scrape.” Raclette makes up a simple meal that was enjoyed by shepherds in the fields of Switzerland. They would heat a stone and melt a bit of the raclette cheese on the hot stone, once melted they would scrape the cheese onto boiled potatoes.
Today, a raclette is cooked on an electric grill. Grill fish, chicken, sausage and vegetables on the top grill, while the cheeses melt beneath in the non-stick pans. You can serve the cheese over boiled potatoes and charcuterie, while cornichon pickles and pickled onions are traditionally served on the side.
If you can’t find cheese specifically made for raclette, use any really good melting Swiss cheese, such as Gruyere, Miranda, Plaisir de Weedon, Five Brothers or Le Moutier if you would like to try a goat cheese raclette. The flavour of a raclette varies depending on the cheese, its age—from nutty to milky. When accompanied by fresh salads or crispy vegetables, raclette transforms into a true symphony for the taste buds. By contrast, raclette served with fresh fruits and nuts provides hearty warmth. It’s easy to prepare and is wonderfully paired with dry white wine such as Chenin Blanc.
Traditional Raclette Recipe
For 4 Persons.
- 8 small/medium potatoes
- 1.5 lb. Raclette Cheese (About 200g (7 oz) raclette cheese per person)
- Sausage or beef filet
- courgette (zucchini), sliced thickly
- red capscium (bell peppers), sliced thickly
- 1 jar pickled gherkin cucumbers (cornichons)
- 1 jar pickled onions
- freshly ground pepper
- If necessary, cut the raclette cheese to fit the coupelles or small trays under the raclette grill.
- Turn the raclette grill on to medium-high heat.
- Simply brush the grill plate with some oil.
- Place some meat and vegetables on the hot grill plate.
- While the meat and vegetables are cooking on the grill plate, place a slice of raclette cheese into the coupelles or small trays, and place them under the heating element.
- The melted raclette cheese is usually served over the warm potatoes on your plate, which you should slice just before adding the cheese. But it is also common to place the melted cheese over the grilled vegetables. Some people even put slices of potatoes into the coupelles so that the cheese melts directly on top. Do as you please!
- Be careful to not overcook the meat on the grill plate.
Come into Pêches & Poivre for your raclette cheese and even the grill.