It’s a Raclette Christmas

The holiday season is quickly approaching, which means dinner party after cocktail party after a wine & cheese party after yet another dinner party.  Even though it is great fun to see all of your lo

Your Raclette Dinner Party

A bright and colourful Raclette Dinner Party

ved ones; these parties become a bit redundant after the first few.  On top that, these gatherings become slightly stressful; either having to host them, buying hostess gifts, deciding on what to wear, getting a baby sitter, deciding how you are going to get home etc.  By the time you actually get to the party you are one giant ball of stress.  Bah humbug.  My suggestion; change it up and de-stress by hosting a Raclette Party.

What is a Raclette Party?

  • A Raclette Party is a Swiss tradition that consists of a hardy menu of boiled potatoes, gourmet cheeses, meats and veggies
  • It allows everyone to cook an create their own menu
  • The Raclette Grill is heated in the middle of the dining area with an array of ingredients to choose from (listed below)
  • Cooked potatoes are served warm while cheese melts & bubbles in the each person’s assigned tray under the grill. Sausage & veggies each person selects are cooking up top on the grill
  • Once ingredients are ready, serve meat & veggies over potatoes then drizzle with melted cheese
  • Enjoy, take a break, and repeat!

Why Host a Raclette Party?

1)      It’s budget friendly because it has a hardy but fairly simple & cost effective shopping list

2)      Allows for an opportunity to sit, relax & chat with guests because there is very little prep work and once the dinner beings, its every man for themselves!

3)      It’s a great way to easily incorporate & satisfy both vegetarians and carnivores by providing an assortment of ingredients for everybody to choose from

What You Will You Need?

Tools

  • A Raclette Table Top Grill (they usually have enough individual pans for 6-8 people) I got mine with AIR MILES!
  • Small plates and cutlery for all guests (Include a smaller, three prong fork for your guests to spear and lift their ingredients of the grill)
  • A Fairly large dining area to accommodate 6-8 guests setting comfortably, a place for the pot of potatoes and the raclette grill in the middle of the table.  A big pot to keep the potatoes warmed in

Ingredients

Melted Raclette Cheese

Melted Raclette Cheese

 

The original recipe usually calls for sausage, raclette cheese, potatoes, paprika and pepper, but these days, it’s as you like it!

  • Small even sized golden potatoes cooked with their jackets on (1 kg bag for a party) You will need to keep the potatoes quite warm , either in a heated cooking pot, covered with napkins or in a slow cooker turned on very low)
  • Cheese:  Raclette (for tradition and also because it has a fairly low amount of lactose for our lactose intolerant friends)
    • Pre cut cheese into pan sized slices for guests
    • Other types of Cheese to use: Vodka Cheese, Emmental, Gruyere and/or a mature cheddar
  • Meats: Ham, Chopped spicy or smoked sausage, smoked salmon
  • Other toppings: freshly milled pepper, dill, roasted or pickled red peppers to cut the richness of the cheese, silverskin onions, mixed pickles/Gherkins, mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli…the list is endless!
  • A crusty French baguette pre cut in one inch slices

What to Drink with your Raclette Menu?

I would suggest a dry white wine like Cave Springs Riesling Dry or a lively rose such as Vineland Estate’s 2007 Gamay Noir Rose. If you are a beer drinker, I would recommend keeping it pale and refreshing.  Keep your drinks light and refreshing to cleanse your palette of the rich and substantial main course

Dessert Anybody?

As stated above, you usually don’t want to move let alone eat anything else after nibbling for hours, however; if you were going to serve dessert, I would suggest a fresh fruit dish with pineapple and perhaps homemade plain cookies or biscotti.  Serve tea and coffee to help with digestion of the heavy meal.

Tips & Tricks

  • If you are running out of room on the table, set up a smaller ingredients table close to the host, who can then pass out the potatoes and all the fixings as need be
  • Since this type of party affords you the opportunity to actually sit and talk with guests, make sure you actually want to talk to the people you invite!
  • By ingredients as fresh as you can so that the colours are vibrant and the food is full of nutrients.  Check out the Hamilton’s Farmer’s Market, Kins Farm Market for options
  • Ask your guests to each bring one of the ingredients you will be using (ex. One guest to bring roasted red peppers).  This will help you be more budget conscience and it will make your guests feel more involved.  If they don’t know what type of dinner party they are attending, asking them to just bring something like paprika or roasted red peppers made create some curiosity and excitement
  • Use the ingredients as your decoration.  As stated above, the colours of the ingredients will be vibrant and very diverse.  Think of creative ways to display each ingredient or to cut the cheese and meat to create visual interest on your table without taking up anymore of your already limited space with decorations

Moral of the story: for a great night, all you need is cheese:)

Advertisements

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://foodandwinegirl.wordpress.com/2009/11/25/it%e2%80%99s-a-raclette-christmas/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: