Okay so I’m not a complete month behind schedule yet, so it’s all good right? I wish I could say that I’ve just been sitting around, busy eating Swiss chocolate. Instead I’ve been so slammed playing catch-up on life that I have not had five minutes to even reminisce over the pictures from my Swiss trip, never mind editing and posting them! But I’m finally getting there guys!
While Swiss fondu is awesome, in my personal opinion, the country should be know for a very different, cheesy dinner. To ease you into my love of all-things-Swiss, I decided to start with my favorite meal: Swiss Raclette.
A couple days into our trip, my mom and I were invite to dinner at my cousin’s house. Chris and his wife Mari, along with their little one, were beyond hospitable. I love how a simple dinner in Europe is always an event. Here in America, I think we often get so wrapped up in our schedules and chores that we miss the “event” that a simple meal can become.
Now before you click away from this post, based on the picture above, let me assure you – while it looks like the craziest dish you would ever eat – this meal is ranked in my Top 5. Some of you may be thinking “eh, no biggie…” but as a foodie, to be ranked in the top 5 of my all time favorite dishes – this is HUGE.
So first off, what exactly is Raclette? Swiss Raclette is one of the many amazing cheeses that Switzerland shared with the world. It is a magical cheese that doesn’t taste very good UNTIL it is melted. I’ve been begging my family for this dish for every visit since I was a kid. It’s a cheese that is traditionally eaten during the colder months, however, if given the opportunity, I would eat it every single day. Too bad it’s not so magical that it won’t make you fat…
Now like I said, eating Raclette is more of an event than just a simple dinner. Everyone gets their own little dish for melting cheese. The griddle sits in the middle of the table so everyone can reach it. You put some cheese on your own personal “cheese pan” and then let the magic happen on the griddle.
While the Raclette Cheese is busy melting into the full delicious potential it truly has… you are busy prepping your plate with the most random goodies that pair with this meal: New Potatoes, Pineapple, “Eyeball” Pearl Onions, Pickles, Baby Corn and Sun Dried Tomatoes. I’m sure this sounds like a meal only a pregnant woman would love, but I swear to you, it is absolutely amazing.
Oh, and don’t forget about the bacon and sausage that are cooking on the top of the griddle! NOM!
Once your cheese is melted, you simply pour it over all of your “toppings,” sprinkle it with some seasoning, and enjoy! I love using paprika and an orange pepper on my dinner.
Just typing this post makes me want to go eat Raclette! Unfortunately this Swiss cheese can be difficult to find sometime in the US. I’m sure it’s much easier in larger cities… but where I live, when I see it, I buy it all up. Trader Joes sells Raclette during the winter months. And I’ve found that Sam’s Club has been having it in stock more and more frequently.
If you are interested in giving this a Swiss dinner a shot, it is not necessary, but it’s best to have a Raclette Griddle. Target actually sells three different Raclette Griddles that are all decently priced: The classic Swissmar Griddle (I have this one), A Raclette Griddle with a Granite Top (perfect for meats and veggies on top!) and then a Hamilton Beach option that is half the price but only feeds only 6.
I would LOVE to trade mine in for the griddle with the granite top… If only I could justify it!
Don’t have the griddle but want to give this cheese a shot? Put everything on a plate, lay your slices of Raclette on top, pop that plate in the microwave and let the magic happen in a mere minute! (But I promise you, once you try it, you will be dreaming of adding this guy to your kitchen.)
Oh, one more fun fact that I learned about Raclette on my vacation: It is a naturally lactose free cheese! Um HELLO… is this not the perfect cheese?! So basically, this dish is paleo. You’ve got lactose free cheese, potatoes, pineapple, veggies and meat. This meal plus a couple glasses of red wine is basically my happy place.
Have you ever had Raclette Cheese before? What other crazy food combinations have surprised you?