Raclette was first introduced to me at my friends Sue’s house on Christmas Eve many moons ago. I had no idea what it was or how much I’d love it.
Boiled potatoes and cheese? Okay.
Made in your own little pan on a grill on your table. Okay.
Chicken, beef, seafood, veggies, potatoes, cheese, pickles and dips. Okay.
That Christmas Eve, we were all gathered around the table sharing and laughing, as our children played around us (they lost interest pretty darn quick).
The Christmas tree lights were bright. The music was festive and I enjoyed every second of it! And there was bubbles.
So why did I pick Raclette to have this year on Christmas Eve? I wanted to feel happy, festive and cozy. Because … Oh hey, 2020.
The bubbling cheese draws me back.
Melted cheese is purely heaven!
Now you are asking what is Raclette?
Raclette is the name of the cheese as well as the dish.
Raclette is a semi-hard cheese which is used for melting and grilling. I do not recommend eating it raw (doesn’t taste too good). Raclette cheese has a sharp taste and smell. There are two varieties of raclette cheese; cow and sheep.
For my Christmas Eve Raclette cheese I went to a favourite of mine Greco’s Mediterreans Deli. I picked up cow which the traditional raclette and some white wine raclette slices too. Chris, owner of Greco’s suggests an average of 150-200g per person. Now this would all depend on how hungry your people are. I personally can do upward of the 200g.
Besides the fond memories of Christmas Raclette grilling, I wanted to have a relaxed dinner and this includes little prep work or cooking involved and honestly this fit the bill. I customize the menu to what we liked best and here we are:
Potatoes (I love fingerlings), scallops, prawns, red pepper, asparagus, onion, BC Brine pickles and broccoli (because always broccoli). I will blanch my asparagus and broccoli prior to meal time (will grill with other veg).
I also only wanted one sauce that would go with the above. I decided on garlic aioli. You can use the recipe below or for convenience sake you can pick up a pre-made aioli from the grocery store.
Garlic Aioli Recipe
(cheater method, fast but efficient)
3 cloves garlic (chopped up really well)
A dash of salt
1 C Mayonnaise
2.5 tsp fresh lemon juice (fresh makes a difference)
Mix all of the above ingredients together (I throw it in the vitamix and give it a whirl). Let sit for at least an hour to let the flavours meld. Enjoy dipping!
The Raclette dinner is served on a grill that sits on your table. There is a grill on top to cook your meat, chicken, seafood and vegetables. And everyone has their own little pans called coupelles (french word for tableware/dishes) that you place under the grill where there is a heating element to melt the cheese. The idea is after you grill you then place your cooked items in the coupelles and top it with cheese and place it under the heating element to melt. The cool thing is that you can mix and match what you want – making it a personalized delight. I personally change it up each time.
Where did Raclette originate? I really enjoyed this Eater article from 2017 explaining the history of melting cheese!
I thought this would be a good time to post about Raclette in case you are thinking about what to do on New Year’s Eve bid adieu to 2020!!