The summer months are gone, and for most of us, it is too cold to have a braai with our friends.
A great alternative is to have a Raclette party at home.
For those who are not familiar with Raclette, it is a dish originating from Switzerland.
The history behind the dish is that peasants and cow herders in the Alpine regions carried cheese with them. In the evening the cheese would be placed next to a campfire to soften and melt. It was then scraped onto bread.
Today it is done on a Raclette grill and eaten with potatoes, gherkins, pickled onions, corn and cold meats.
A hot beverage like tea or white wine is served with your meal.
So what do you need?
There is a variety of grills, some are combined with a Fondue pot, others have a grill plate on top and often a combination of a grill plate and a hot stone.
They come with little pans called coupelles, which are placed under the grill. My experience is that you need at least two per person.
Grocery list - traditional
- Boiled baby potatoes
- pickled onions
- cold meats such as salami and ham
- Chicken or beef strips
- Raclette Cheese
- White Wine
Grocery list - South African Twist / modern
- Bacon bits (not traditional but works well)
- Beef or chicken strips (not traditional but works well)
- Mushrooms (not traditional but works well)
- Small sausages like Nürnberg Rostbratwurst (not traditional but works well)
- Shrimps / Prawns
- Dates or cherries wrapped in bacon
- Avocado topped with Feta cheese
How to prepare and serve
Each person fries their own meat, sausage, bacon or mushrooms on the grill plate.
You then add potatoes to your pan and top it with gherkins, pickled onions, corn, your fried items, and if you like cold meats. You can also eat the cold meats on the side.
Add a slice of Raclette cheese on top.
Put it under the grill.
Enjoy the company of your family and friends with some wine or Kirsch while you wait for your food to grill.
When the cheese is melted and browned to your liking, take it out from under the grill and slide the food onto your plate with a small spatula.
Prepare the next pan for grilling while your food cools down a bit.
- Serve apple slices with your raclette! Apples help cut through some of the richness of all the melted cheese and salty meat.
- Raclette dining is meant to be slow and easy so take your time.
- Raclette cheese is easy to find in Germany. You can also use other cheeses like Gruyere or Emmentaler.
- South African flavour – add some Mrs Balls chutney to your food before you add the cheese. We have a list of shops that sell South African Products.
- Marinate your meat strips
- Paprika or Chilli powder works well with cheese.
- Gaan bos! Fry and grill whatever you feel like.
- Pizza – Try making mini pizzas. Use pizza dough, spread some with tomato paste/sauce on the dough and add, other toppings like mushrooms and a lot of mozzarella cheese
- Breakfast – flapjacks topped with sweet stuff like berries and chocolate or savoury for example scrambled eggs and cheese.
You can also fill your pan with fried mushrooms, diced fried bacon and some herbs, and break an egg over it. Sprinkle some cheese over the egg and put it under the grill. Serve with toast or baguette.
- Nachos – Tortilla chips and cheese. You can add fried mince, peppers or black beans
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