WHAT IT IS
Raclette is a type of cheese and also a manner for eating it. It melts beautifully and easily, and in Switzerland you can find restaurants carving long, gooey slices from large hunks of raclette cheese, to be draped over potatoes and served up to grateful customers. While in Germany, we discovered an appliance for do-it-yourself raclette. And I bought one.
As you can see, this is called a “Party Raclette,” and I can’t think of a more enticing name for a kitchen appliance. Indeed, my daughter was introduced to this at a slumber party, where the girls each made their own eggs in the individual pans for their breakfast. We also went to a dinner party at the home of German friends that featured raclette. My family received our “Party Raclette” as a Christmas Eve gift (from me :-)), and making raclette became our Christmas Eve tradition while we lived there.
My kids loved to create their own melted cheese dishes by putting slices of cheese over their collections of fruits and vegetables and slipping their pans into the heating unit, while pineapple and ham sizzled on the grill above.
There is even a lengthy extension cord in the box.
Unfortunately, when we returned to the States, we had to retire our Party Raclette to the high storage shelves of our basement, because we do not have a power converter with high enough amperage for it. (I’m quoting my spouse here—I don’t normally use words like “amperage.”) I have seen some of these appliances advertised by Williams-Sonoma, but as we already own one— inoperative though it is—I couldn’t quite justify purchasing another.
BRING IT HOME
Imagine my surprise, then, when I spied a pile of these Raclette packages while grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s! While extremely excited, I was also smugly pleased because I knew just what to do with them…These packages come filled with about ten slices of raclette, and all you need to enjoy them are an oven and some potatoes and vegetables. The packaged cheese kept for a few weeks in my refrigerator, and it was a handy thing to pull out for a meatless meal on a Lenten Friday.
I bought two packages, and that was only a tad bit more than my husband, two teenage boys, and I needed for dinner. I lined up the slices on a parchment covered baking sheet and put them under the broiler for 3-5 minutes (as the package directed).
It wasn’t quite a party raclette—but we all cozied-up with our plates and watched a movie, and that made for a wonderful family night.