Cheese is always a crowd pleaser when it comes to hosting gatherings. Whether its served as an appetizer or main course, cheese is a versatile and welcome addition to almost any type of dinner party. While fondue centric parties are a nostalgic, vintage kind of fun everyone loves it's great to experiment with new trends in cheese. A raclette dinner party is a modern twist to fondue that is appropriate for birthdays, holidays, graduations, showers and everything in between.
When you're looking for a dinner party idea that is as easy as fondue, but slightly different, try hosting a raclette party. Raclette is a type of cheese from Switzerland that is prepared with vegetables on a special raclette grill. The grill heats numerous small pans in which each guest melts the raclette with vegetables and other toppings of his or her choice. All the host needs to do is supply the equipment and prepped cheese and vegetables. Then everyone can relax with a beverage of choice while their individual raclette pans cook. It couldn't get any easier!
We've scoured the internet for a simple and easy to follow authentic Swiss raclette recipe from Switzerland that is sure to be a hit at your next planned event.
- 1 kg Raclette potatoes (small, even-sized potatoes)
- 800 g Raclette cheese in slices
- Sliced Fresh Peppers
- Silverskin onions
- Mixed pickles
- Freshly milled pepper
- Cured Meats
Tips for preparing and serving raclette:
Boil the potatoes in their jackets. Line a basket or bowl with a napkin and wrap the hot potatoes in it to keep them warm. Set out freshly sliced vegetables in a seperate platter.
Cut the raclette cheese into pan-sized slices and set them out on a dish. For cheeses try a Emmentaler, Gruyère or Comté. Its definitely alright to use just one or different combinations. Put bowls of trimmings, a pepper mill and paprika on the table. Let guests experiment with their cheese and veggie pairings throughout the night. Unique combinations of veggies, potatoes and the cheese could be pleasing to individual guests. It's a good idea to leave some breathing room when it comes to the grilling so everyone can get what they want. If your not comfortable leaving the grill unattended through the night it's common to hire or assign a grill master to make sure the cooking is smooth through the night. Things can get a bit messy when melted cheese is involved!
Drinks with Raclette:
A dry white Swiss wine or rosé goes best with Raclette, though a cool light beer will do too. True connoisseurs recommend tea because it stimulates the digestion. For your own party it could be a nice idea to start guests with a ginger tea recipe and offer a dry Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc that is high in acid. Here are some ideas to start but any dry white wine will do. *Tip: Dry white wine is suggested because the acid keeps the cheese tasting smooth.
Before and after:
You can serve seasonal salad as a starter and finish off with a fruit sorbet, fresh fruit or a fruit salad for dessert.
Allow about 200 g of Raclette cheese and 200 to 250 g of potatoes per person. If you prefer, you can also serve crusty bread/baguette.
Do not cut off the rind: you'll get a crisp, flavorsome crust if you just scrape some of it away.
If any cheese is left over, wrap it in cling foil and it will keep for about 8 days.
When preparing Raclette in pans, make sure you don't overcook it, otherwise the albumin gets grainy and the fat separates.
Raclette can be prepared with any variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs, condiments, liqueurs and spices. Let your imagination go wild.
Recipe courtesy of Cheeses of Switzerland.