Thursday, January 17, 2013

Raclette ~ An Old Swiss Dinner (Naturally Gluten-Free)

You might have noticed on our menu plans that we have been enjoying raclette dinners quite often these days.  I thought it might be good to explain what, exactly, it is (besides amazing, beautiful, and crave-worthy).

A long time ago, way back in the 1500's, Swiss herdsmen would bring with them hardy potatoes and a big chunk of cheese for their meals while they were keeping watch over the cattle.  They would boil their potatoes and melt slices of cheese on top of a hot stone and "racler" (scrape) the cheese off the stone and onto their boiled potatoes.

Today, in the warmth of our homes, we can plug in our raclette "stone" and go to town.  While we're at it, why not add more to the grill than merely potatoes?  You can also choose to pour your melted cheese over a wholesome slice of sourdough bread, if you aren't a gluten-free home.

Here's how it works.  Do you see those silver handles sticking out from under the grill pictured above?  They are connected to little trays, and that is where you place your sliced cheese.  
Our favorite cheeses for raclette
  • Brie
  • Gouda
  • Jarlsberg
  • A cheddar/gruyere mix that you can find at Trader Joe's  
  • There is a raclette cheese.  I love the way it tastes, but it is really stinky and my children can't handle the smell.
Once the grill is hot, simply toss whatever you would like to eat under a blanket of melted cheese.

Our favorite grill items are:
  • Slices of boiled potatoes
  • Caramelized onions 
  • Sausage (cooked)
  • Sauteed peppers
  • Steamed or roasted veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, beets...)
  • Pears
  • Apples
As everyone gathers around the table and we wait for the food to warm and cheese to melt, jolly exchanges are made.  Kids share about their day, grown-ups announce news of this and that.  Each person plates their grilled masterpiece and pours the melted cheese of choice over it.  Oohs and awes are heard and you've got to try this combo is said more than once.

Raclette has become a weekend ritual at our house, and we look forward to it every time.  The grill pictured above is my parents.  We have a granite stone and it works wonderfully.

Have you had raclette before?  What's your favorite way to enjoy it?


  1. Where did your parents get the raclette? Here in France we have a specific raclette cheese - several types - raw milk, pasteurized

  2. oh I just had a flashback. I had this in Bavaria when I was a teenager - I had no idea what it was, but it was delicious. I remember the little griddle the cheese was on... ah! I'll have to look into this for us!

  3. I'm so glad you posted this! I was wondering what a raclette was!!! :-)

  4. I LOVE raclette! My cousin married a Swiss guy so several years ago we went over there for a wedding reception and this was one of my favorite meals we had! SOOOO yummy. The other thing that was to die for was their meringue topped with double cream. Oh. my. goodness. Now I can't stop thinking about their food! :)

  5. My family is from Switzerland and we have Raclette on special occasions. For me this meal is very simbolic of my family and our heritage. We all own Raclette machines :) I do'nt have it on a regular basis because it is a heavy meal for me (and I live in a warm climate). I've never seen anyone use other cheeses though, we always keep it traditional with Raclette cheese- very stinky but very good. Have you tried it?

  6. This looks so fun! Might have to put it on my birthday list.mmy kids would totally get into this!

  7. We have tried the raclette cheese, but my kids can't stand the smell. :(

  8. I believe they bought it at a store called Sur La Table. I ordered mine thru Amazon:

  9. We tried the raclette cheese, but my family couldn't handle the smell. :(

  10. Hi i found a raclette at bed bath & beyond $139 a Swiss brand with granite stone on top. I also found a raclette at Target $79. By hamilton beach co. The top of the griddle is teflon coated not granite. Both recieved 5 star reviews. Good eating!!!


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