How do you "raclette"?

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I'm planning to give my brother a raclette grill for Christmas as he loved it so much when he was over here, as I had been planning to bring hand luggage only, I thought it would be great if I could buy one at home, so I started asking around how available they are in Ireland (answer: not really...) well anyway, quite a few people answered by saying the brought theirs over from Germany/Switzerland/Austria /France but were disappointed because they couldn't (or very rarely) get raclette cheese in Ireland and you just can't have a raclette without raclette cheese. Very often we'll just use a block of Gouda oder other cheese and seldom buy the raclette cheese and sometime, we even omit the cheese completely using just diced meat mushrooms and various veg and seasoning etc...

 

Are we alone in this, do other TTlers absolutely HAVE to have raclette cheese, or are the Irish at home just not creative/flexible enough to do without "proper" raclette cheese?

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No it's not necessary to have raclette cheese, any cheese that will melt properly is fine as far as I'm concerned. Don't use Edam though, it goes all funny when you try to melt it.

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We do use raclette cheese but really only because it's easily available here and already cut into neat little squares. I agree that any old cheese that melts nicely would do just fine and you could vary it according to whatever else you're serving.

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!!!

 

I'm so excited for you, or your brother, or whatever, whoever, gets to raclette! I am like a little kid when it comes to raclette, oooh, lookit the magic cheese-melting apparatus! And all the little pieces of everything! Too much fun.

 

You can raclette with whatever your heart desires. Put marinated stuff on top of the grill, melt whatever you like on whatever you like. Personally, I find raclette cheese stinky and unbearable, so I just melt whichever other cheese takes my fancy. You can melt cheese on bread or potatoes, but if you're doing a lower-carb version you can melt it onto eggplant, tomatoes, meats, tofu, whatever you want. The only restriction on the raclette process is your imagination! And the point of it is not to do it correctly, but to gather people around and have some little tapas to nibble on while you shoot the breeze. It's about the fun, not the cheese!

 

scampers off to organize the next raclette party

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So my fellow country men (and women) at home really are uncreative (or just still clueless to the whole raclette thing)

 

Dessa, I'm right with you there, I love raclette, I'm considering buying a new one for us, I saw an offer a few days back in Weltbild, an xxl raclette grill for 16 people for only 39.99, oh, the amount of stuff we can grill in go is getting me all excited (and it's perfect for a raclette party ;)

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Raclette cheese, as other cheese, can be refrigerated; so one could buy larger amounts if one happens to see it somewhere and have a stock in the freezer.

 

If I had to buy a new raclette grill, I'd get one with a stone slab (heißer Stein), which is even better for grilling meat and veggies than a metall surface. But it could be very heavy to bring in your luggage.

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you just need a firm, cow's milk cheese and you'll be fine. we often buy the swiss and french variety when we do rachlette parties here in germany, but after the main season, when we want to do a cheap rachlette for us two, we used a store-bought sliced cheese.

 

We also just prefer the simple method and i usually serve it with new potatoes, canadian bacon, mini pickles, some sliced bell peppers...

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We've even frozen packages of raclette cheese when we bought too much. It's just like new when you thaw it out.

 

Our raclette thingie has a stone on the top and we throw shrimp and those tiny cocktail wieners up there while the cheesy goodness is melting down below.

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Are we alone in this, do other TTlers absolutely HAVE to have raclette cheese, or are the Irish at home just not creative/flexible enough to do without "proper" raclette cheese?

 

Not sure if you know this place or not, but it's probably the best stocked cheese shop in Ireland.

 

Sheridans

 

I've checked and they do stock Raclette.

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I have given raclette grills to friends and family in Ireland. Sometimes you can find raclette cheese in Ireland. Ooooh see above ^^^^ , nice one, AI.

 

The first time I had raclette was in Switzerland. They melted half a cheese on a grill - not your little pans. They had few side dishes and I must say, I did not like it very much. It has grown on me, though.

 

The great thing about raclette is you can put anything you like on the table to go with the cheese. This may not "suit" some people but...

 

I put small bowls of chopped onions, bacon bits, peppers, mushrooms, sweet corn and the yummiest because I love sweet and sour, mandarins and peaches.

 

Edit:

I have just looked at the link AI posted. It would seem that they sell the cheese in whole(4kg). As Westvan has said: I have frozen left over cheese many times and it tastes just as good as fresh. Sometimes I would even cook some potatoes and put whatever I want (see my side dishes above) with them. Cover with my thawed out cheese and put it under the grill. Nice dish for one or two.

 

Edit Edit:

I bought a second grill in Lidl last year - we were having lots of guests. It works very well. It was €25 or €29 and well worth it.

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Our first Raclette we bought in the States. And needless to say, the "cheese" was not available. We've always used a variety of cheese including Havarti with dill or jalapena. As for the other ingredients well lets just say we've always experimented. Mini pizzas, Shrimp, garlic, fresh veggies, bacon and have even done brunch with eggs and pancake batter and grilled pineapple rings on the top grill. mini french toasts. Let your imagination run wild :) It makes a great gift and always makes for a great eating event breakfast, lunch or dinner.

 

PS We have it on New Years eve and then Brunch on New Years Day once everyone wakes up :)

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I'm pretty sure I saw Raclette cheese in Lidl in the UK so you'd probably be able to get it there in Ireland too. It wasn't even "in season" it was during the summer!

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The great thing about raclette is you can put anything you like on the table to go with the cheese. This may not "suit" some people but...

 

I put small bowls of chopped onions, bacon bits, peppers, mushrooms, sweet corn and the yummiest because I love sweet and sour, mandarins and peaches.

 

That's exactly what we do, along with boiled potato slices and some chopped ham and salami. Raclette has been our Christmas Eve meal for years.

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Actually, raclette cheese can be melted in a normal pan on the stove; it only takes a few minutes at medium heat. Boil some potatoes in their skin beforehand, add some pickles and tomatoes – easy lunch or dinner.

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I agree. Lots of cheese. Yummy. We generally have all the normal stuff, like corn, bell peppers, onions, etc. plus mashed sausage (Bratwürstkäck, glaube ich) and fine cuts of beef sirloin. Damn. Now I'm hungry...

 

Edit: just saw Beuel's post about being hungry. :D

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Another cheese variation to try is Gorgonzola. Or any schimmelpilz cheese. Fry a small medallion of pork fillet on the top, then into the grilling pan. Cover with pfifferlinge and gorgonzola. Melt. Mmmmm.

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