If you want to host a memorable and fun party without too much cooking, raclette is the answer. Raclette originated in Switzerland and is a type of fondue. Not the type where you dip bread in a communal pot. Instead, there is an electric table top grill. Meat and vegetables are grilled on top of the heating element while cheese melts underneath. Everything can be prepared a couple hours in advance. You can enjoy your guests upon arrival and everyone does the cooking together! This makes for a fun, memorable, and communal meal for all ages.
See a raclette table setting in this 22 second video
What to serve with raclette
You can serve pre-cooked boiled potatoes, bread, sausage, peppers, and a variety of cheese that gets melted and “scraped” onto these items. That’s what raclette means “to scrape.” It’s typically served with some fermented or pickled vegetables on the side to cut the richness of the cheese. I like to serve with a plated salad to start.
How to prepare raclette
First, set your table and set out the raclette grill. About two hours before guests arrive, boil new potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes in salted water. Cook until you can pierce the potato with a paring knife. Alternatively, you could large dice Yukon gold and/or red potatoes and boil until cooked through.
Drain, cool completely, and cut in half. Cover with plastic wrap and keep at room temperature on the set table.
While potatoes are boiling, slice peppers and onions into 1/4 inch strips, arrange on a platter and cover with plastic wrap and set at the table.
If you want more vegetable options, you can serve sliced zucchini, tomatoes, and blanched asparagus.
Serve with small cooked sausages, sliced kielbasa, or some variety of lunch meat. In addition, thinly slice two or three types of good quality melting cheese. I typically buy raclette cheese, fontina, and gouda. Finally, you can include sliced baguette.
If you are hosting a large party it’s a good idea to start with a plated salad. Guests can be eating the salad as the first round of vegetables and cheese are cooking. When guests arrive, coat a bit of olive oil on a paper towel and lightly wipe the grill. Serve drinks as the grill heats and start cooking!
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Raclette Party for Eight
- 12 to 16 oz of baby potatoes
- 2 onions
- 1 green pepper
- 1 red pepper
- 1 yellow pepper
- 2 tomatoes
- 2 packages of kielbasa
- 2 (8oz) packages of raclette cheese
- 2 (8oz) packages of gouda
- 2 (8oz) packages of fontina
- 1 to 2 baguettes
- olives, pickles, or fermented vegetables
- blanched asparagus, optional
- zucchini sliced 1/4 inch bias, optional
- Step 1 Set the table including the grill.
- Step 2 Boil new potatoes in salted water for 15 to 20 minutes, cool, and cut in half.
- Step 3 Slice peppers and onions in 1/4 inch saute slices.
- Step 4 Slice any other optional vegetables.
- Step 5 Slice meat, cheese, and bread.
- Step 6 Optional, set a plated salad.
- Step 7 When guests arrive wipe an olive oil coated paper towel over the grill and turn the grill on to heat. (Lightly coat the grill)
- Step 8 Serve drinks and start cooking!