Friday, December 14, 2018

RECIPE: Raclette - naturally gluten free

Raclette is similar to fondue except you don't use a pot filled with oil, you use a specialized grill that rests on the table between all the diners.  On top of the grilling coils is a cooking surface (ours is granite) and under the coils are small containers that each diner fills with either cheese (raclette) or mixed vegetables covered with cheese.

8-person Raclette Grill with Granite Top at

While the cheese is melting under the heating coil, the grilling surface is used to cook meat, sausage, potatoes and vegetables.  As each item is cooked to your preference it's transferred to your plate, covered with the melted cheese, and then eaten with the various sauces.

Raclette Grill in use (from

It's a wonderful way to entertain because most of the prep work can be done the day before.

When we've ordered this in a restaurant, which is how we discovered it, it's been served with three sauces - garlic, mustard, and curry.  You could serve just one of these, if you have a favorite, but we like to serve 5 or 6 so that everyone's tastes preferences are covered.

The sauces are better if they're prepared a day or two ahead to give the flavors time to meld.

The cheese and meat can be sliced the day before and the potatoes and vegetables can be pre-cooked then, too, and brought to room temperature before serving.  We cook the potatoes right before serving, while we're enjoying a cocktail and appetizers.

Some people serve cold cuts - prosciutto, ham, and salame - instead of beef and sausages, and some people prefer shrimp or other seafood.  The suggestions below are what we chose to serve.

Raclette Dinner Suggestions

For the Raclette Grill
Raclette cheese, sliced 3/8" thick
Red and white potatoes, par-boiled and sliced 1" thick
Raw beef tenderloin, sliced 3/8" thick
Chipolata (or any other mild cooked) sausages
Asparagus, lightly steamed
Sauteed shiitake mushrooms
Broccoli and/or cauliflower, roasted
Cayenne peppers, minced

La Quercia Ridgetop Prosciutto
Fermented dill pickles
Raw Peruvian olives

Sauces (I've made dozens!  Will add links to the others as I find them)
Curry sauce
Coffee butter
Harissa mayonnaise
Pesto and Chive Blossom Aioli
Horseradish tarragon cream sauce
Roasted red pepper and balsamic butter 
Thai dipping sauce with ginger, garlic, miso and curry paste
My SIL's favorite is this Chimichurri Sauce
Cucumber dill sour cream
Paul Prudhomme's Honey Mango Sauce
Jalapeno jelly cream cheese
Tarragon mustard cream
Garlic ghee

Raclette is generally served with a dry white wine.
Because many of our sauces are spicy, we also serve a Riesling.

Specialized plates are available, with indentations for the sauces, but they aren't necessary to enjoy the meal.  In the photo below you can see one of our sets, with exaggerated wells:

Here's a photo of our raclette grill set up on the island in our kitchen, with a different set of plates:

The sauces are on a lazy-susan so that we each have easy access to them:

Here is the food at the beginning of the meal - meat, veggies and potatoes on the granite slab, cheese and parsnips underneath:

A few minutes later, it's all ready to eat:

My plate, with the melted cheese poured over, the various sauces in the background, and olives, pickles, and hot peppers in the center:

The meat was cooked to perfection!

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