All about raclette
Raclette refers to both a type of cheese and a meal that has been a tradition in Switzerland for hundreds of years.
A soft, creamy cow’s milk cheese, Raclette originated in Valais, a French-speaking Alpine region of Switzerland. According to legend, a group of farmers or herdsmen set up camp one night and some bits of cheese they’d left on the rocks near the fire melted. They scraped the cheese off the rocks and discovered it was delicious. That’s where the term raclette comes from: the French racler means "to scrape."
Raclette recipes to try
Traditional Swiss raclette recipe
Shrimp skewers with herb sauce
Raclette as a meal
Traditionally, melted raclette is accompanied by small firm potatoes, gherkins, pickled onions, dry-cured meat, sliced peppers, tomato, onion and mushrooms, and seasoned with freshly ground pepper. In Switzerland today, raclette remains a favourite simple, hearty meal – comfort food at its best.
Just like a fondue pot, the electric raclette grill makes for a fun communal dinner party – guests gather round the grill and cook small tasty dishes for themselves. The top hot plate is ideal for grilling vegetables, sausage, shrimp and more. Cheese is melted in individual raclette pans (or coupelles) under the heating element that’s beneath the grill top, then scraped out of the pans with small heat-resistant spatulas.
3 tips for raclette parties
1 Never overfill raclette trays. If you pile ingredients too high, they won’t cook evenly during the brief cooking time and the cheese will brown too quickly because it’s too close to the heating element. Instead cook more small servings.
2 Before using the grill, lightly oil it and heat for at least 25 minutes. Sprinkle the surface with a little salt before adding the ingredients so the food won’t stick.
3 A simple green salad is an ideal starter for a raclette meal because it can be eaten while the machine is heating up. Heartier salads are best served as side dishes with the meal so guest don’t get filled up beforehand. Finish with a light fruit salad or fruit sorbet.