Raclette comes from the French verb "racler" that means “to scrape. It refers to both the type of melted cheese and the other meats, vegetables and ingredients it’s served with. Traditionally, it is prepared by melting a semi-soft cheese and pouring it over roasted potatoes and root vegetables, pickles, and
cured meats, like prosciutto. The meal is rooted in a deep alp’s tradition—originating as a dinner made around a winter fire since the Middle Ages. Today, you can enjoy raclette with a Raclette Grill or even using a nonstick frying pan.
We learned from Amandine,Customer Service Representative at Opinel USA, about her experiences eating raclette dinners, growing up in France, her tips for preparing a raclette dinner and the favorite Opinel Knives in her collection.
Where did you learn about raclette dinners?
In the alps and where I grew up, we annually enjoyed eating raclette in the winter. My mom learned from her mom and together we continued the tradition. It's a very social experience that I was nervous about missing when I started living in the United States. Soon after moving, I purchased a Raclette grill on Amazon and now share the experience with friends here.
Is Raclette normally eaten only in winter?
Yes, Raclette is meant for the winter. Imagine having Raclette after skiing. It's
considered a winter tradition because it's heavier, more filling and warm. However, I crave it year round and have made it outside of the winter season.
What's the most over the top raclette experience you've had before?
In France, we have Raclette restaurants. For me, that's where you can find the best raclette. They are really cozy, you can smell the cheese in the air, you get to use a big grill and it's really fun with a group .
What are the essential raclette ingredients that are part of your raclette recipe? Is there anything unique that you include in your diners?
-Cheese from Switzerland. I like to use Murray and Emmy cheeses.
In France, my favorite for Raclette is called, Livradoux.
-Charcuterie meats (For Example: Saucissons, prosciutto, Black Forest
Schinken, Italian Dry Salami, Calabrese, Jambon de Paris, Speck Italiano)
-Vegetables (Peppers/ Onions / Root Vegetables)
-White Wine: (Vouvray, Chablis) Red Wine: (Chateau Neuf du Pape)
I grew up with my family having Quail Eggs when we ate raclette. It's not as common, but it's something I've introduced my friends here— and they love it. You crack the egg onto the grill and it's amazing with the cheese, potatoes and meats. You won't find Quail Eggs at the grocery store where you can find the rest of ingredients. I shop for Quail Eggs in a local Asian grocery store.
How do you prep for your meal?
For me, I like to make a raclette dinner quickly—sometimes I only need 20 minutes to prepare. Some people will slice and chop their vegetables and meat the day before and let them marinate overnight. I chop my vegetables and cook the potatoes before serving.
This is what my process looks like:
1.) Cook potatoes. I would recommend closely monitoring how long you cook the potatoes. It's weird to rewarm potatoes to me.
2.) Chop green peppers, onions, mushrooms, bread, meats and semi- soft cheese. Take out cheese and charcuterie meats and set up table. Set out for around 30 minutes prior to sitting down for dinner.
3.) Set up grill in the center of the table and surround the table with bread, cornichon pickles, mustard, vegetables, meats, wine, some of my Opinel Knife collection and if you're at my table quail eggs!
I love to use my Opinel Knives. I'm always showing them off to friends at my table. When I'm cooking I use my chef knives to prepare the vegetables and meats. On the table, I recommend the Table Chic Steak Knives, the Fork and Cheese Knife Set, and the Spreading Knife.
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