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Brian's Photo Blog — Article 531
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A New Year’s Day Swiss Raclette
Thursday 17 March 2016   —   Category: Cooking & Food
OK ... I know it’s Saint Patrick’s Day and not New Year’s Day, but such is the situation with my humongous, horrible backlog of photos! I’m trying to dig my way out as fast as possible, but still it is slow going.

As I shared on New Year’s Eve, a Swiss raclette grill is a wonderful piece of equipment for cooking a number of special, delicious meals right at your din­ing table. On Christmas Day, we used it for a ten-meat grillade.
A week later, on New Year’s Day, we used it again — this time for the dish which gave its name to the grill, when Swiss raclette cheese is melted in small trays that sit under the heating element of the grill.

I was so busy preparing the meal that I forgot to take a picture of the cheese. But I do have this photo of raclette cheese ar­ranged on a plate that I took four or so years ago when I was doing some winter photography at home.
 
Join me for a few minutes as I give you a brief introduction to this unique and truly scrumptious meal from the Old Country.

Because we had stuffed ourselves with ten dif­ferent types of meat only seven days before, this time around we opted to go vegetarian instead.
 
Here are the veggies cooking on top of the grill, while raclette cheese, on small black trays, is melting underneath the 9x14 inch granite slab.
 
This shot was a bit hard to get — it was so dark in there that I had to use a flash­light for illumination!

You can see a slice of raclette cheese, topped with diced red onions, under­neath the granite top of the raclette grill, being slowly transformed into a melted state.
 
Here is the raclette cheese and onions after they have been properly grilled, ready to be eaten.
 
The traditional way to eat raclette cheese is to dump a melted piece over a boiled potato which has been cut into several large chunks. I especially like it topped with freshly-ground black pepper.
 
Here is another slice of raclette cheese, topped with a slice of onion, ready to be grilled. We have two two-pound blocks of raclette cheese from Switzerland re­maining in the freezer from last summer. We will enjoy another round in only ten days from now, on Easter Sunday — the day before my birthday!
 
With a bit of effort and money, you too can enjoy this meal at home. Amazon has a large selection of raclette grills. Raclette cheese — made both in France and Switzerland (the Swiss is better, but harder to find) — can be found at numerous markets which have a decent selection of international cheeses. Or simply use your favorite cheese and slap it in a raclette tray — I think Tillamook sharp cheddar is great!

You can also use the grill for non-cheese dishes, like roasting veggies and meat on the top, as I have already mentioned. Years ago my family and I started mak­ing mini pizzas in these trays. The raw dough and all of the toppings are in bowls on the table, and each person can build as many custom little pizzas as their stomachs can hold. It is a truly scrumptious and fun way to have a long meal together.

Hopefully you start to get the idea that the sky is the limit when it comes to ways to enjoy a meal by cooking the food at your table with a raclette grill. Let your imagination run wild, and your taste buds will be rewarded!
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 531
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Reader Comments
On February 3, 2017, Bobica wrote:
Zum Raclette passen alle sauer eingelegten Gemüse. Du kannst aber auch Salate dazu machen. Wir mögen gerne dünne Scheiben Speck, Zwiebeln und Walnüsse. Dazu dann Cornichons, eingelegte Rote Beeete Kügelchen, Maiskölbchen und Perlzwiebeln. Das passt sehr gut zu dem Käse. Meine Söhne essen auch gerne Schinken und Ananas zum Käse. Ich denke da sind der Fantasie keine Grenzen gesetzt. Das ganz klassische Raclette besteht aus Raclette-Kâse, Pellkartoffeln, Cornichons und Perlzwiebeln. Ich habe mein erstes Raclette als Kind in Sass Fee in der Schweiz gegessen.
On February 10, 2017, Brian wrote:
Here is a translation of Bobica’s German comments:

All types of pickled vegetables, as well as salads, go well with raclette. We like thin slices of bacon (pancetta), onions and walnuts. In addition, cornichons, pickled beets, baby corn and pearl onions. These go very well with the cheese. My sons also like ham and pineapple. I think there are no limits to the imagination. The classic raclette consists of raclette cheese, new potatoes, gherkins and pearl onions. I ate my first raclette as a child in Sass Fee in Switzerland.
 
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 531
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