A traditional raclette dinner requires an electric table-top grill, but you can still make this warming, delicious dinner without one. Raclette, by the way, is the name of the cheese, a type of semi-hard Swiss cheese, and also the name of the dish featuring the cheese melted over boiled potatoes and served with cornichon pickles, meats, hearty bread, and wine.
According to Leelanau Cheese, who makes a wonderful raclette, “the name of this meal comes from the French word, “racler,” meaning “to scrape.” It is believed that raclette began on the hillsides of Valais region in Switzerland as a wine harvest was coming to an end. Grape gatherers took from their sacks a small loaf of brown bread, some cheese and a bottle of wine. Legend has it that one of the men stabbed a piece of cheese with a large buck knife and approached a crackling fire, it started to melt and run with a crisp, golden texture. It was delicious, and there begins the story of raclette.”
Here’s how to make raclette without a grill
- Boil some new or fingerling potatoes in salted water until tender when pierced with a knife. Drain and let cool a few minutes until you can handle them. Turn on the broiler in your oven and move the rack closer to the top of the oven.
- Cut the potatoes in half and arrange on oven-proof plates, cut side up. Slice the raclette cheese and lay over the cut potatoes. Broil the potatoes until the cheese is melted and bubbling. The cheese should not be browned.
- Serve immediately with pickled vegetables, sliced meats, if desired, some nice dark rye bread, and white wine.