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How to host a raclette dinner party

Raclette Author: Canadian Living Credits: Raclette

Menus & Entertaining

How to host a raclette dinner party

The Academy Awards is a glam and glittering affair on the small screen, but in our homes we prefer the laid-back, casual atmosphere of friends and family, perhaps gathered around the table for a pre-Oscar meal or just a friendly out-of-the-norm get-together. With an electric raclette as the centrepiece, start your Oscar party with shrimp sizzling on the grill top. Then turn the spotlight to cheese – melting it under the grill and slathering it over potatoes or colourful vegetables, smoky or cured meats and fish – and, of course, pickles. On with the show!

What is raclette cheese?

A mellow cow's milk cheese with flavours and aromas of butter and nuts, raclette has a firm-yet-supple texture that melts beautifully when heated. The word raclette (from the French racler, or "to scrape") goes back to the days when Swiss cow herders used to melt raclette cheese on rocks close to glowing coals to scrape over food. Raclette cheese is worth seeking out at specialty food stores, but other melting cheeses also make for a good party.

Raclette dinner party work schedule

2 days ahead
:
• Make Tarragon Vinaigrette recipe.
• Make Lemon Chive Aïoli recipe.
• Make batter for Ginger Molasses Tuiles recipe. 
• Make Kirsch Syrup recipe for dessert

Day before:
 
• Slice cheese and sausages for raclette recipe.
• Cook broccoli and potatoes for raclette recipe.
• Cut pineapple for dessert.

Day of: 
• Bake Ginger Molasses Tuiles recipe.
• Assemble Shrimp and Vegetables Skewers recipe.
• Put pickles, broccoli and baby corn into bowls.
• Prepare salad greens.

At dinnertime:
• Heat raclette grill in centre of table.
• Place skewers, aïoli and salad on table.
• Reheat potatoes while enjoying first course.
• Set out all raclette ingredients.
• For a light dessert, toss pineapple with kirsch syrup. 

Raclette menu and recipe ideas for 8 :

Page 1 of 2 --  Discover great wine pairings and raclette dinner ideas on page 2

More raclette dinner menu ideas:

  • Raclette: Classic meets modern in this selection of ingredients you can prepare ahead, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the first course with guests.
  • Pineapple with Kirsch Syrup: A delicious twist on the Swiss tradition of serving pineapple and kirsch at the end of a meal to aid digestion.
  • Ginger Molasses Tuiles: Bake only six of these lacy tile-shaped cookies (tuiles in France) at a time.
Wine and beer suggestions for raclette:
White wines such as Swiss Neufchatel Blanc (called Fendant from Valais and made from the Chasselas grape) are a good match. Or try your favourite dry or off-dry Canadian Riesling.

Beer is another traditional beverage of choice with raclette. Try a light brew, such as Stella Artois or Belle-Vue from Belgium, or German-made Beck's, or a light beer from a Canadian microbrewery.

For a thirst-quenching nonalcoholic suggestion, try sparkling mineral water.

How to serve and eat raclette:
For the purist: Quarter potatoes; place on plate. Place one slice of cheese in the raclette tray; broil under raclette broiler until molten hot, melted and bubbly, about 2 minutes. Scrape over potatoes. Sprinkle with paprika and pepper to taste. Add pickles.

For variety: Arrange one piece each of sausage, broccoli and baby corn in raclette tray; top with cheese and broil under raclette broiler.

For action: Chop potatoes; place in raclette tray. Top with cheese and broil under raclette broiler while grilling sausage on top portion of raclette grill.

Can't find true raclette cheese? Here are other cheese combos to try:
The sky's the limit when it comes to raclette. You'll love these tasty combos:

To pair with thinly sliced extra-old Cheddar:
Meat - Cooked ham or peameal bacon
Veggie - Steamed asparagus or green beans

To pair with thinly sliced Fontina:
Meat - Cooked scallops, shrimp, hot-smoked trout or salmon
Veggie - Halved cherry tomatoes

To pair with thinly sliced Monterey Jack:
Meat - Sliced prosciutto or salami
Veggie - Sautéd button mushrooms

To pair with thinly sliced Gorgonzola (use in partnership with Fontina):
Meat - Cubed corned beef or Bundnerfleisch
Veggie - Roasted red peppers

Read more:  How to host a fondue party

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How to host a raclette dinner party

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