If you have been following this blog, you’d know that we are all about affordable eating. And what can be more affordable than eating dinner at a friend’s house?
So when Tina (a.k.a. Dr. Binz) invited me over for a raclette dinner, I couldn’t say no. Besides, I have never had a raclette dinner before. So free dinner + new food experience = happy Kookie.
For those of you who don’t know, this is what the raclette grill and the raclette pans look like.
Here’s how it works, the heating element is located just below the top metal plate but about 2.5″ above the grill bottom. This gives enough space so that the raclette pans can fit underneath the heating element. When the device is on, the raclette grill can simultaneously heat the cheese on the raclette pan and grill meat and vegetables. Talk about multi-tasking!
The major component of the raclette dinner is well the raclette. Raclette is a salty cheese derived from cow’s milk. The cheese originates from Valais in Switzerland but the dish has crossed the border to France and even to Wallonia in Belgium (Sorry Oui, it’s in the French-speaking region).
Aside from the cheese, the traditional components of the raclette dinner would be boiled potatoes, gherkins (small cucumbers), pickled onions, capers, and some dried meat.
The German version : put whatever the hell you want!
I piled by little pan with tomatoes, fresh champignons, some slices of mini salami, and a slice of bacon. I slapped a piece of raclette on top shoved my pan into the grill. After 10 minutes, voila…
Drool-worthy ain’t it?
We also grilled some meat while we were waiting for the cheese to melt. Here’s a fair warning. The stuff on the raclette pan does not smell when it’s cooking. The problem is when you grill the meat on the metal plate, all the fat that boils off sticks to everything in the room. You may ask, “Why not grill it outside then?”. You see the raclette is typically prepared during winter, and eating outside at near freezing temperatures is not fun.
Raclette dinners are great when you have a few friends over for dinner. The process of preparing your own pan coupled with good dinner conversation is a recipe for an enjoyable night.
Now if you will excuse me, I have to bring my clothes to the washing machine. I need to wash the bacon out of my fleece jacket.