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December 13, 2022

Raclette Dinner

A Comforting and Entertaining Winter Dinner

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Raclette is a traditional French and Italian dish served in the winter months. It is most appreciated after a day of skiing in the mountains. It is comforting and divine, and the best part is there is hardly any cooking involved. All you need is a raclette grill and a few simple ingredients—an assortment of charcuterie such as bresaola, prosciutto, capicola, ham, and salami, boiled potatoes, and raclette cheese.

A raclette meal is a similar concept to a fondue dinner, but it is easier to prepare and just as fun. The raclette grill has two heating units, one on the top—the grill, and one below. It comes with trays which are placed on the lower part with a slice of raclette cheese to melt. Once the cheese is melted, it is poured over the potatoes. The raclette grill comes with small scrapers to scrape the cheese from the melting tray and pour over the potatoes. Racler means to scrape in French.

The cheesy potatoes are enjoyed with the charcuterie on the side. Other ingredients to serve are vegetables and cornichons as a crisp garnish. Cornichons are small French pickles and are enjoyable with the charcuterie. They are crisp and tangy and offer a refreshing contrast to the meal. A Caesar salad is a delicious first course to a raclette dinner, then all you need to serve is cheese, potatoes, and charcuterie. Since the meal is filling, a few apple slices and a small piece of dark chocolate is the perfect sweet ending. The apples will aid in digestion.

Serving Raclette is an impressive and simple idea for entertaining and an easy and remarkable family dinner idea.

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Raclette Dinner

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Ingredients

Charcuterie - cured meats

Raclette Cheese - see notes below for quantities.

Yellow or red skin potatoes

Instructions

Arrange the charcuterie on a platter. You can find a selection of charcuterie at your deli counter. I suggest bresaola, sweet capicola, spicy capicola, coppa, sopressata, French ham, serrano, salami, and prosciutto. From these, choose an assortment of three or more as you like.

Slice the raclette cheese in about 1/8 thick slices and place them on another platter.

Boil the potatoes. You can leave the skin on.

When it is time to serve, plug in the raclette grill. Check ahead if you need an extension cord to reach an outlet from your table.

Place the cooked potatoes on the top grill. This will keep them warm.

Place the raclette cheese in the raclette tray and place the tray in the lower part of the raclette grill to melt the cheese. It’s fun to wait until the cheese is melted. The anticipation is exciting, especially for kids.

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When the cheese is melted, use the small spatula to scrape the cheese onto the potatoes and enjoy with the charcuterie.

Serve a salad like a homemade Caesar salad to start or provide steamed vegetables to eat with the raclette. And try some cornichons.

Click here to find your Raclette Grill.

Notes

The amount of charcuterie and raclette cheese varies depending on the number of people you are serving. If you have leftovers, you can use the charcuterie during the week for sandwiches, and the raclette for a scrumptious grilled cheese. You can also freeze the raclette cheese to use for the next raclette dinner.

Raclette is common at a well-stocked cheese counter. Whole Foods usually carries it. You can substitute Fontina, or Emmental if you cannot find raclette.

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I often cook "au pif," as we say in France, which means cooking without an exact recipe and by "feel" using your intuition.  You’ll often find guidelines in many recipes versus exact quantities.  Write to me here if you have any questions about the recipes.

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