Do you fondue? How about an updated and upside down version? Raclette is where its at!!! Pair with a Trousseau Gris and you step from the 1970s right into today.
I grew up in the 1970s. Yep, I’m old. We did fondue. I’m pretty sure my parents had 2-3 fondue pots in fact. It was always a production–melty cheese, bits of meats and veggies and bread cubes and the best part? long thin metal forks. Cue my mom: Those are not swords!!!! DO NOT STAB YOUR SISTER WITH YOUR FONDUE FORK!
When my husband and I got married, he brought with him Raclette. Apparently Raclette is an upside down fondue when you melt cheese in little pans and pour it on your meat, veggies, and potatoes (not bread cubes). No dipping. No stabbing of siblings. Also 1970’s probably.
Honestly, its a bit of same-same-but-different, and equally as tasty. Switzerland, while being neutral, clearly spent their time wisely making fancy knives and ways to eat cheese–Fondue and Raclette. Raclette is also a cheese–made by the Swiss. Raclette in restaurants (like the famous Raclette in NYC) has special heaters that melts the cheese so it can be scraped off a huge wheel onto your plate. We aren’t a restaurant (wow, that’s such a MOM thing to say!!). We have a non-fancy and perfectly acceptable Raclette Table Grill, sold for less than $40 at Amazon.
The Raclette Method
Once we got our raclette grill, we got to playing with different combinations of cheeses and meats, etc. After much experimenting, and no stabbing with forks, this is how my non-swiss-and-yes-I-know-we-are-doing-it-wrong family does raclette.
My husband turns on the grill and preheats it while I am prepping the food. This is a bit cumbersome because we don’t have an easy-access plug for the electric grill.
First, I prep the baby potatoes. Nowadays they come in awesome microwave-friendly bags that just go in the microwave! 5 minutes or so and done! Place in a bowl for sharing. Next, I slice up kielbasa or cheddar sausage. Its already cooked! All I need to do is slice and plate–in another bowl for sharing.
Then on to the veggies. Again, cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots come in great microwave friendly bags. I like the fresh ones in the produce section, not the frozen (they get too mushy). so, I zap the veggies and plate in a bowl for sharing. Because I’m mom, I insist on apples as well. Honestly, I think this is my husbands favorite part of the meal. Wedge up a couple and…place in a bowl for sharing.
Last bit of prep: gather mustard, pickles, and slice up a baguette. I loved cheese cubes and cheese as a kid, I will have it now too!!! Place in yet another bowl for sharing.
Now let us discuss the cheese. Raclette uses Raclette cheese. But, in my family we do what we want. And we each like different cheeses. My husband loves smoked gouda. Our son prefers colby-jack. I eat whatever is around–but really like the “garden vegetable” specialty cheese from ALDI. The beauty of raclette is that you can add or subtract or do it however you want. This is how my non-swiss-and-yes-I-know-we-are-doing-it-wrong family does raclette.
Wine Pairing with Raclette
This time, I chose Wind Gap Fannucchi Wood Road Vineyard 2017 Trousseau Gris. I had it at the house and it sounded intriguing. Trousseau Gris, aka Gray Riesling, is a french grape made into a dry white wine. It is rather hard to find–a Unicorn? This one was from the Russian River Valley in California by a now defunct winery. I loved its deep amber color and medium acidity. It had aromas and flavors of florals, apples, peaches, honey, orange blossom, and a medium stony-mineral finish.
In the future, I will definitely try this meal with other dry aromatic whites such as Muscadet, dry Alsace or Austrian Riesling, Torrantes, Vouvrey , Chenin Blanc, Rousanne , Albariño , Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Picpoul de Pinet, Chablis, or a young Grüner Veltliner.
If I was in a red mood, I might try a young Burgundy or a Beaujolais.
- Raclette Table Grill
- 1 bag baby potatoes steamed
- 1 bag broccoli, cauliflower, carrot steamed
- 2 large apples wedged
- 1 ring kielbasa or cheddar sausage sliced
- 1 large baguette sliced
- 1-2 blocks cheese–gouda, colby, etc shredded
- 1 jar mini pickles
- 1 jar mustard
- Turn on grill to preheat.
- Prep all ingredients. Place in bowls or on platter to share.
- Grill meat and potatoes on grill while you melt cheese in little grill pans.
- Place desired fruits and veggies on plate. Add meat and potatoes. Pour melted cheese over top. Add pickles and mustard. Repeat as needed!
- Grill bread in sausage drippings. You may need to add some extra butter depending on type of sausage used.