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Old 02-27-2007, 05:09 AM   #1
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Planning a raclette party

Fondue was very popular at one time, but how many of us have a fondue set stored in a closet somewhere and never use it?

Raclette is another story... I have several raclette dinners a year. It is perfect winter food, and makes for a very convivial and easy-to-prepare meal.

Raclette machines are not very expensive, and all you have to do is find the right cheese and cut it into slices (or have the store cut it).

On Saturday, I'm planning a Swiss wine tasting (6 different vintages of Pinot Noir made by a friend of mine in the Valais region) and raclette dinner for 15 people.

Other than cheese, and loosely based on the Swiss tradition, I will provide:
- lots of boiled potatoes
- crusty country-style bread
- pickled onions
- a range of delicatessen meats, including viande séchée des Grisons (dried beef)
- big bowls of mixed green salad
- a dessert that has yet to be decided: my wife was thinking of molding chocolate mousse into a mountain shape, covering it with "snow" and planting a Swiss flag on top!

Best regards,
Alex R.

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Old 02-27-2007, 06:09 AM   #2
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Don't forget cornichons. However, I imagine you are the expert on that. We gave our kids a raclette "machine" for Christmas. Had a WONDerful dinner at a raclette restaurant in Paris--Au Piano Muet on rue Mouffetard.
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Old 02-27-2007, 06:19 AM   #3
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A Mont Blanc dessert may be what you are looking for after the Raclette.
I lived in Italy for many years and had a sister-in-law in Samedan (just out of St Moritz), Switzerland. We ate Raclette many times with her and the family and once she served Mont Blanc. This dessert is of pureed chestnuts with chocolate and covered in meringue, in the shape of a mountain. And if you can create a shape resembling the REAL Mont Blanc even better.
I have never made this dessert, but a search using Mont Blanc dessert should give you some recipes.

Have fun!!
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Old 02-27-2007, 08:08 AM   #4
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Love Raclette parties!! Received a 6# half-round of Raclette cheese for Christmas and we're still playing with it - thank God it freezes so well!
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Old 02-27-2007, 11:22 AM   #5
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Okay the list is growing - stone for the oven, a raclette machine, uhmmmm, bigger boat!
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Old 02-27-2007, 12:16 PM   #6
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Dessert

In keeping with the Swiss theme, purchase some good Swiss dark chocolate and serve with port wine. The combo is out of this world delicious!

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Old 02-27-2007, 12:57 PM   #7
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Wow, I've never heard of a raclette machine or a raclette party! In fact, I only learned of raclette (LOVE it!) 7 or 8 years ago, when I saw it at Trader Joe's.

What a cool idea!

Lee
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Old 02-27-2007, 01:14 PM   #8
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We had our first about a month ago..I was rather worried as the men around here are not fonduers or salad nibblers at meal time..I talked to the young fellow where I shop who is the buyer for a beautiful cheese department, and he suggested the raclette cheese from France instead of the swiss type. He said the french type was more mellow so we tried that and it was wonderful..I had the tiny par boiled yukon gold potatoes, cornichons, tiny boiled pickled onions, I also had procuitto which we wrapped around the potatoes then dipped into the melted cheese, The little onions they placed on a round slice of coppa then dipped that into the cheese..My guys ate everything and asked to do it again soon.
Enjoy your party.
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Old 02-28-2007, 06:29 PM   #9
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Some blanched asparagus is also good.I had it the first time in germany for the 2000 New Years loved it.
I have since bought an inexpensive raclette grill.
You can also use Gruyere,Ementaller or Appenzeller if you cant get Raclette.I have to order Raclette from IGourmet.
There is also a french Raclette it's more pungent and softer than the swiss.
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Old 02-28-2007, 08:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jpmcgrew
Some blanched asparagus is also good.I had it the first time in germany for the 2000 New Years loved it.
I have since bought an inexpensive raclette grill.
You can also use Gruyere,Ementaller or Appenzeller if you cant get Raclette.I have to order Raclette from IGourmet.
There is also a french Raclette it's more pungent and softer than the swiss.
JP,
have you had the chance to try the french raclete? I wasn't sure which to get when I shopped so I asked the young man who runs the cheese department..He suggested the french as a first try, saying that the swiss was rather smelly and strong and we probably like a milder cheese..Next time I do plan to try the swiss, I'm a cheese lover so won't mind if it is strong. Just wondering your take on the two cheeses and which you prefer.

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Old 02-28-2007, 08:25 PM   #11
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Kades,I have had both at the same time and to me the french was stronger but I guess it's a personal thing but I read some where it was said the french was stronger and I hafto agree. I liked the swiss version better.
I think cheese is a personal choice,meaning we all take it in different plus I think some brands are better than others.
Again thats just my opinion.Not to start anything but maybe the guy was wrong but we are all ruled by our own taste buds and what we like so I dont know what else to say.
Here is what I read and that is their brand which I had.
French RacletteThe world’s most famous melting cheese, Raclette is made in the Alps on both sides of the French-Swiss border. The French version is perhaps a bit softer than Swiss Raclette, but the two taste very similar. Raclette has a semi-soft interior dotted with small holes and a rosy inedible rind. Eaten as a table cheese, Raclette has a smooth, creamy taste that is neither too salty nor sharp. However, our French Raclette tends to have a strong, pungent aroma that is not for the timid. This cheese is traditionally melted (a half wheel is placed in a fireplace, then the melted top surface is continuously scraped off) and layered atop boiled potatoes, pickles, fresh vegetables and sliced meats.
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Old 02-28-2007, 08:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpmcgrew
Kades,I have had both at the same time and to me the french was stronger but I guess it's a personal thing but I read some where it was said the french was stronger and had I hafto agree.
I think cheese is a personal choice,meaning we all take it in different plus I think some brands are better than others.
Again thats just my opinion.Not to start anything but maybe the guy was wrong but we are all ruled by our own taste buds and what we like so I dont know what else to say.
Oh that's okay, I was just curious The one he sold me was very creamy and mellow so who knows Next time I'll look closer...Thanks

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Old 02-28-2007, 08:47 PM   #13
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Here is my humble opinion all cheeses the great ,the ones that are aged meaning the hard cheeses are awsome but some of the soft cheeses can go bad.Case in point.Brie it is wonderful but when the rind goes brown and has an ammonia taste its really bad and I wont touch it if it's fresh I will eat the rind and all.Plus Im really picky with blue cheese I like the german carambolza as it is quite mild.Goat cheese to me is only good if it is really fresh when it is old I will not touch it.When it's old it's way too strong for me
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Old 02-28-2007, 09:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpmcgrew
Here is my humble opinion all cheeses the great ,the ones that are aged meaning the hard cheeses are awsome but some of the soft cheeses can go bad.Case in point.Brie it is wonderful but when the rind goes brown and has an ammonia taste its really bad and I wont touch it if it's fresh I will eat the rind and all.Plus Im really picky with blue cheese I like the german carambolza as it is quite mild.Goat cheese to me is only good if it is really fresh when it is old I will not touch it.When it's old it's way too strong for me
Same here, I like goat cheese but if it's old ICK!!! Blue I love it, but in small amounts and I do like the carambolza.Brie while I use because my girls love it, I tend to have maybe a bite and that's it..I like all cheeses even limburger which my granddad use to bring home, pare off some and plop on top of fresh warm cruncy french bread with a slice of german head cheese Loved it as a kid, now keep the head cheese limbergers alone with a cracker is fine

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Old 02-28-2007, 10:05 PM   #15
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Kades.I also think cheese can be a totally mood thing and Im with you on the blue cheese thing a little goes a long way and can be way to strong I can do a bit of the Stella Gorganzola Cheese and other times I can do alot I still think it has to do with how old it is.I also believe it's a taste bud thing some people have more taste buds then others.They say if you are really sensitive to bitter tastes you are a super taster.I hate the bitter taste but I dont think Im a super taster maybe something in between.But I do believe some of us can really taste more in a food than the general public.
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