Sunday, January 10, 2010


Intratubulettes!  Did I ever tell you about my life list?  Right, so, one of my non-quantifiable life resolutions is to Use The Things That I Have to Make My Life More Fun.  Joel and I got a raclette set for our wedding and *shhh* haven't used it yet, so one of my quantifaible-and-check-off-able life resolutions was to have a raclette party.
A raclette set is a tiny indoor grill with little trays on the bottom.

Ours are itty-bitty, we were trying to feed seven people, so even though our set came with two, Morgan and Shannon brought over their massive one.  The main deterrent in raclette is all the prep work, because you literally have to chop a thousand things. 

It's really no more work than, say, making a massive stir-fry, except that you end up dirtying every bowl in your house.  Do not attempt this if you don't have a dishwasher.

All the usual suspects were present: peppers, onions, mushrooms, broccoli.  This being our first hosted raclette, I thought we'd play a game called Will It Grill (that being a misnomer, becasue of course it will grill.  The real question is whether it will taste good afterwards).  To that end, I threw in a few rogue vegetables like leeks, edamame beans, and eggplant.  All were surprisingly tasty (full points go to the grilled leeks), which may or may not have had something to do with the roasted garlic and herbed butters that ended up everywhere.
So!  Grilling.  We accidentally kept the teeny ones quasi-segregated into vegetables

and meat.

The large one was omnivoricious.

But what of the teeny trays on the bottom?  That is where you throw some cheese to melt so that you can pour it over your...whatever.  Or you take your grilled whatever and put it on a slice of bread with some cheese, and put that in the teeny tray and roast it.  There are no pictures of the teeny trays because I was eating what was in them.
The other problem with raclette, related to the myriad of bowls, is space.  There will almost be no room on your table for your plates.  You will have to relocate your beverage station to a side table, and if someone brings a leetle gasoline pump to mix cosmos in, so much the better.

In keeping with the spirit of Using Things Because I Have Them, I busted out the napkins that Gnoe sent me from the Netherlands. 

My instinct is to totally hang on to these and hoard them forever, because when will I have such terrifically Dutch napkins again?  But life is for living and napkins are for using, and raclette is a Swiss dish and while I KNOW THAT SWITZERLAND IS NOT THE NETHERLANDS, it's near enough.

So!  With all the grilling and melting and more grilling and prodding, raclette takes hours to eat.  Make sure you have plenty of time, and excellent company.


ramblin'andie said...

While I appreciate that you differentiate between the Swiss and the Dutch (we of the tiny European countries HATE being told that "we're all the same" and no, Sweden and Switzerland and Holland are not a tiny bit the same)I find North American Raclette confusing. Maybe it's just that there are only 2000 people in my village and they don't know how the cool kids are doing it. But we only ever have raclette with cheese, potatoes, pickled onions and pickles.

Still...yours looked good and I am ever so jealous that you have your own raclette grill.

hotTamale said...

Thanks for sharing some of the downsides (practical things) about dining Raclette. Your photos are wonderful. And though there must've been lots of washing up afterwwards, it looks like you had a beautiful time together!

Shari said...

Hi Raych
If only I knew that you had a raclette grill, we would have helped you use it ages ago! I'm with the first post. I was first introduced to raclette while living in Switzerland,we always had it served over baby potatoes with pickled onions and pickles. Wow, you had an amazing spread, looks delicious!
It's one of my goals to get a raclette grill at some point in life. I just introduced David and Sarah to raclette while we were in Quebec City. So yummy!