So my birthday was last week. We have an exchange student. She is from Belgium. Apparently Raclette is something she really enjoys. She gives me a Raclette grill for my birthday. My response....interesting looking!
She is trying to describe to me how it works. I am sort of getting it...but not completely. I look online. I decided that I wasn't sure if the kids and Cory would like it so I thought I better have LOTS of options for the food so that I could make sure everyone was happy. It turned out to be a BEAUTIFUL table (I love it when that happens!)
We had baked potato pieces, plain french bread and Italian garic and herb french bread, cheese, meat and green beans as well as the traditional gherkin pickles available.
For the cheese there is a Raclette cheese but we didn't have any so we just grabbed a variety of cheeses from the store. Now, I am a cheese chicken. Some soft cheeses bother my digestive system so I tend to stick with what I KNOW works. But we tried something new....we had Provolone, Cheddar, Applewood smoked Gouda, Muenster, fresh mozzarella, and my new favorite Havarti which melts PERFECTLY for this meal and our exchange student said it is pretty close in flavor and texture to the traditional Raclette meal.
She doesn't like pickles so that is not on her plate. Online they recommend fresh ground pepper and paprika on it but we forgot to put that out and honestly didn't miss it. We were just enjoying the blends of flavors you could create. We did have onions, peppers and olives out with the meats and cheeses.
Overall I took lots of pictures (and I didn't post them all! Even if I wanted to!) and we had a lot of laughter. My mother-in-law came over for this meal and had a blast. The only person who didn't seem to enjoy it was my 3 year old and he has been fighting a virus and didn't eat much of anything last night so I am assuming it was more sickness and less lack of enjoyment of the meal than anything!
We decided that we could reduce the cheeses offered now that we know what cheeses our family likes. We can also put out fewer meats. My personal favorite was the tiny diced ham, my hubby the bacon and most of the kids liked the turkey lunch meat on it! But the cool thing was everyone could have their favorite things! Like I could load mine with onions and my kids could avoid them! My hubby used the bread to make a sandwich out of his cheese/meat mixture, others ate it open faced and then others preferred the potatoes as a base for theirs.
However you eat it, I can see it being a fun larger gathering meal. Set it and the food options up on the buffet and let everyone fix their own while you sit at the table and play games or watch a movie or something. But I do have one last word of caution! Be careful! The trays are teflon (we don't cook with that so I am not used to it at all!) and they come with little personal scrapers for each one so I ASSUMED (silly me) that the cheese would stick some. I reached out, grabbed my first cooked one and PLOP! Right into my freshly poured glass of juice! Um! Okay, Raclette covered in juice is NOT quite so tasty! But it does make the entire table laugh and be twice as careful! And me move my glass!
This one was cheddar cheese, onions and diced ham on a couple of baked potato slices in case you care.
Has anyone else ever tried Raclette? Ever heard of it even? Care to share your experiences or thoughts? If you live locally and think it looks like fun...let me know! We can party!