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Using raclette cheese without special equipment?

nofunlatte Jan 4, 2013 06:56 AM

came home with too much cheese yesterday, including raclette. Now, I've only had raclette at my aunt and uncle's house and they live in the foothills of the Alps. They had the special raclette wheel and we had it melted with the usual cornichons and potatoes. I'm in Indiana without any fancy equipment (and I'm in the process of paring down, so no new cooking gadgets for a while!). Can I sub this into a regular fondue recipe? Any other ideas, Hounds?

  1. sunshine842 Jan 4, 2013 07:06 AM

    I think it's too gooey for fondue.

    I would make a bastard tartiflette, or I'd layer potatoes, cold cuts, etc. on a baking sheet, lay a slice of raclette over the top, then put it in the oven for a few minutes.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sunshine842
      paulj Jan 27, 2013 06:38 PM

      I just quartered potatoes, boiled them till nearly tender, spread them on a baking sheet, topped with slices of cheese and broiled.

      1. re: paulj
        c oliver Jan 27, 2013 06:48 PM

        That sounds wonderful. We have TWO raclette grills but sometimes it would be nice to just do something simple for the two of us.

    2. f
      foreverhungry Jan 4, 2013 07:14 AM

      You basically just need to melt individual portions of cheese to go along with whatever else you would be serving for raclette. Among the traditional serving items for raclette are ham and other meats, small boiled potatoes, and cornichons. If you have a toaster oven, you could simply melt slices of the cheese on a toaster oven safe dish, and then pour the melted cheese onto the items arranged on your plate - a perfectly acceptable way of serving a raclette.

      Obtaining the cheese is the hard part. Beyond that, you should be able to find cornichons, decent meats such as a jambon cru, and small potatoes such as fingerlings in your neck of the woods. Then it's just a matter of melting the cheese and you can enjoy a nice raclette meal.

      3 Replies
      1. re: foreverhungry
        sunshine842 Jan 4, 2013 07:19 AM

        she's already got the cheese (too much of it) and has eaten it with her family in the Alps.

        1. re: sunshine842
          f
          foreverhungry Jan 4, 2013 07:35 AM

          Right sunshine, I saw that. I read the OP's question as dealing mainly with not having the traditional raclette equipment. My post was suggesting that you don't need the equipment to make raclette, there are other means by which one can melt the cheese and reproduce the same raclette meal, just not as conveniently.

        2. re: foreverhungry
          c oliver Jan 27, 2013 06:50 PM

          Amazingly, TJs carries it!

        3. splatgirl Jan 4, 2013 07:25 AM

          do you have a fireplace or a fire pit? I can see raclette being improvised quite well near any active fire and on a cast iron skillet or grill

          1. Delucacheesemonger Jan 4, 2013 07:31 AM

            You can do moderately easily in front of a fire with a long fork and a longer knife, but Sunshines thought of a bastard tartiflette sounds perfect, mine would be sauteed onions and potatoes covered by the cheese and broiled a bit.

            1. sunshine842 Jan 4, 2013 08:05 AM

              There's also things like these: http://www.amazon.com/West-6130-Bend-Raclette-Party/dp/B000WPX532/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1357315386&sr=8-2&keywords=raclette+grill

              (not good for those trying to reduce the stuff, but...

              )

              That style raclette appliance is far more popular in my area than the old-style raclette melting equipment (which look way cooler, but require a source for a big honking chunk of raclette!)

              For those who aren't familiar with it, it looks like this: http://www.amazon.com/Boska-Holland-8...

              2 Replies
              1. re: sunshine842
                f
                foreverhungry Jan 4, 2013 09:43 AM

                I have the first type, the "grill" with individual dishes (different manufacturer, but same concept). That's also the same type of raclette apparatus that various family members in Haute Savoie have. Works great, relatively easy to store, and nice when you're doing a raclette for 2 or 4, and don't need the big honkin hunk of cheese.

                1. re: foreverhungry
                  sunshine842 Jan 4, 2013 09:52 AM

                  plus you can buy the cheese pre-sliced, even from the fromager...makes it way too easy as a convivial dinner with friends, or a "I'm not cookin' tonight" dinner.

              2. t
                travelerjjm Jan 4, 2013 10:22 AM

                You don't need fancy hardware. Check out the "Raclette Hot Plate" here: http://www.swissproductsonline.com/co... It works with a tabletop burner or hotplate. You could use a griddle and any kind of small pan or ramekin. A friend once suggested melting them in a broiler then keeping a blowtorch handy at the table, bit we were all techies and used to that kinda thing. I wouldn't suggest that for most folks.

                1. nofunlatte Jan 4, 2013 02:09 PM

                  Thanks to all for your responses! I think I'll try the toaster oven to melt first. No fireplace here (and my grills and smoker have a layer of increasingly compacted snow on top).

                  Sunshine, that tartiflette sounds wonderful--might have to work that into a dinner party sometime!

                  1. sunshine842 Jan 27, 2013 03:04 AM

                    FWIW....last night I made tartiflette, and found that I'd absently managed to buy only a HALF a reblochon....not enough to make a tartiflette for dinner.

                    I did, however, have a lot of raclette on hand, so I did a tartiflette with half raclette and half reblochon (the crusts went on the top, natch)

                    2 onions, sliced paper-thin, sauteed in a 200g (8oz) package of lardons (slice thick-sliced bacon to get to the same place...) and layered with a kilo (2 pounds) of sliced waxy potatoes that I'd steamed until just past al dente.

                    The raclette mixed with the juices from the bacon and onions and made a gorgeous creamy sauce...and because it was only half reblochon, wasn't quite as assertive as this dish can be (it can be pretty potent)

                    A generous grind of black pepper and a green salad -- a great meal for a frosty, blustery night.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: sunshine842
                      c oliver Jan 27, 2013 06:54 PM

                      If you keep posting like this, the day is coming when I'm showing up there! Your availability of ingredients and your cooking skill make me drool.

                      BTW, we had some "raclette-virgins" over many years ago. He referred to it as "stinky cheese." It is funny that it smells that way but doesn't taste that way. Mmm.

                      1. re: c oliver
                        sunshine842 Jan 27, 2013 10:41 PM

                        the leftovers in the fridge definitely make their presence known.....!

                        You were just over here (well, in a just-across-the-continent-general way) a few months ago....time to come back!

                        1. re: sunshine842
                          c oliver Jan 28, 2013 07:43 AM

                          Heading to Turkey in March but connecting through Amsterdam not Paris. Dagnabbit.

                          1. re: c oliver
                            i
                            INDIANRIVERFL Jan 28, 2013 08:15 AM

                            c oliver, I find sunshine842 to be a disturbing influence. And look forward to be disturbed in the future.

                            1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
                              c oliver Jan 28, 2013 08:44 AM

                              COL - chortle out loud. Too true :)

                              1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
                                sunshine842 Jan 28, 2013 09:17 AM

                                I'm not sure if I should take that as a good thing or not! :D

                      2. chefj Jan 28, 2013 10:38 AM

                        It does work fine in a regular Fondue though better as part of a blend especially Vacherin.

                        1. linguafood Jan 28, 2013 10:40 AM

                          Raclette is fantastic just sliced on bread, too. No need to melt it.

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