A cozy evening with friends, a romantic meal for two: all year round, but especially in fall and winter, raclette is the perfect dish. For raclette night, little preparation is needed. All you have to buy for a raclette is the grill, cheese, and ingredients. After that, each guest chooses what he or she likes. You can refill the small pans of the raclette grill and the hot stone or the griddle as often as you like. And it does not always have to be savory, either. Besides the original raclette with only cheese and bread, variations with fruit, meat, and vegetables are possible.
Your lifestyle and eating habits are key when looking for the best raclette set. Is the small grill with only two pans ideal for you or do you dream of a kitchen appliance, which you can use not only to prepare this traditional cheese dish but also for grilling and baking? Just as important when you are looking to purchase a raclette grill is to ask yourself whether you want to prepare the traditional Swiss dish alone, as a couple, or with as many friends as possible.
Vegan, vegetarian, or meat? Here, you are free to indulge in your own preferences. Original raclette cheese might a classic basic ingredient, but one or the other vegan cheese might just as well result in the delicate melting typical of raclette. Alongside their special cheese, vegetarians might choose chopped or small vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, peppers or zucchini for grilling or gratinating. Sausages suitable for grilling work equally well on hot stone or griddle as cuts of beef, pork, and poultry, which are ideal for pan-frying. Whether you rely on home-made sauces or quickly grab something from the supermarket is also entirely up to you. The dish is best served with a selection of breads or potatoes.
The Swiss, of course, claim that they invented the famous dish. But where did raclette originate? The Swiss answer to this question will surely be: from the Canton of Valais. In fact, according to traditions, the history of the cheese dish can be traced back all the way to the Middle Ages. First written records of melted cheese being one of the original dishes can be found in the early 19th century, when roast cheese was mentioned. It was a quickly prepared, casual meal; because the ingredients were always available, even to shepherds. The simple meal soon turned into a feast. The original raclette with cheese and bread tasted even better when a splash of kirsch or white wine was added to the cheese. Now Bündnerfleisch, mixed pickles, and other pickled produce along with tender, small potatoes are also integral components of Swiss raclette.
In the traditional cheese grill, a piece of cheese is used, which melts and turns out particularly creamy. The ingredients are set on a small griddle located above the cheese. Known and popular for the cheese dish is the raclette table grill. Now the little pans come into play. A non-stick coating ensures that they are easy to clean. Specially coated griddles also make this work easier. Whether you choose raclette grill plates in stone or metal is up to you: metal gets hotter and the crust gets crunchier; a stone plate, on the other hand, stores the heat for longer and thus ensures gentle sizzling and cooking. Visually, stone is definitely impressive.
If you would prefer more features in one device, for example, to save space in the kitchen, you will also find options. With two elements that can be heated separately, you can switch on the Vario grill as needed. If there are only two of you, one half is enough. If you have friends coming over, this device ramps up the action. Some table-size designs facilitate raclette and fondue preparation, so you can decide spontaneously which dish you prefer. Maybe a multi-use is interesting for you, too. Simply swap out the plates and you can use the griddle, the mould for hash browns and pancakes, or the stone plate for steaks and vegetables. You can even order the grill in combination with a pizza oven. Let's get the party started!
The cheese dish is especially popular during the Christmas holidays and on New Year's Eve. The fact that it takes little preparation and doesn't come with long cooking times has certainly contributed to its popularity. Even if it gets hectic on these days, there is still time to order and buy the meat, chop the vegetables, and fill matching bowls with gherkins, mixed pickles, and sauces. In addition, the Swiss dish makes for an excellent meal when you have guests. It leaves enough space for conversations and a sociable, relaxed get-together. Everyone takes as much as they want of what they enjoy. At a raclette Christmas, the cooks can relax and wait for the handing out of presents. The New Year's Eve raclette traditionally runs until just before midnight. Ingredients are continuously added until at twelve o'clock on the dot the new year is welcomed. However, you do not have to restrict your use of the cheese grill to just the holidays. It's handy when unexpected guests arrive, and you can always keep the most important ingredients at home in your pantry.
As with raclette eating, the whole process is quick and easy. Removable plates are roughly cleaned and rinsed. Often, the cheese pans are even dishwasher-proof. It is important to carefully remove grease that has run down the sides so that there are no unpleasant odors at your next cheese night. Special cleaning products are unnecessary. Usually, a soft sponge and water to rinse are sufficient. If you want to make cleaning even easier, grease pans and griddle lightly before use. To turn the food, use tongs that can not leave scratches on the surface of the material. For the pans, there are special scrapers available, which are often already included in the set or can be bought separately. Those will allow you to push your creations from the grill pan onto your plate without damaging the coated surface.
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