What is Raclette?!

6:27 AM

My family loves raclette night. Actually, it all started when Calvin and I were engaged and our church asked that we take some time to meet with our pastor and his wife to "prepare for marriage". They invited us over for lunch and just said "bring some veggies with you." We arrived with maybe asparagus and bell peppers in hand, I can't remember exactly what, and Pastor Blair & Angela proceeded to show us a weird looking European grill top device that we would be eating "raclette" from. Well, it was amazing. We received one as a wedding gift and have used it A LOT. We even purchased a new one for my mom at Christmas this year.

Raclette is officially a Swiss thing, a dish they eat using this grill by melting cheese, and serving it on top of potatoes, pickles, onions, etc. It's also the name of the type of cheese you use in the dish. We have definitely made it our own thing, still melting cheese but adding all sorts of things along with it. The grill features a flat top that you can cook meat and veggies on, and an under "broiler" that you use to heat things in small dishes that get inserted, things like cheese or baguette.

We like to offer multiple types of meat but quickly establish a "meat side" of the grill so that there's no cross contamination. We love thin cuts, like philly cheese-steak style meat, and seafood like shrimp and scallops work as well.

We put out a ton of veggies, some raw and some parcooked. For things like brussels sprouts, carrots and squash I'll steam it for a minute or two because it would have to spend too long on the grill to soften up otherwise.

We also put out oil, sea salt, different seasonings like lemon-pepper and Montreal Steak Spice, and often a pot of rice to keep our tummies at bay since this can take a long time much like a fondu dinner. Then you just start throwing things on top, and under, and eat as it's cooked. Everyone does their own but you can certainly share if you come up with a fun combination. Grill some brussels sprouts and onions, then pop them under the broiler with cheddar cheese and lemon juice until melted. Or cook chicken and mushrooms on top then broil them with mozzarella. Anything goes!

Raclette is a fun way to get creative and make sure everyone gets exactly what they're craving. You can even do breakfast raclette (crepe mix, scrambled eggs, english muffins to toast) or dessert raclette (pineapple, berries and sliced pound cake for grilling, and a big bowl of whipped cream!) It's really the ultimate social dinner.

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