Rockin Raclette

It was a relief when I stepped out of the house this morning and noticed there was still a strong chill in the March air. I'm just as ready for Spring as anyone else in New York, but tonight, balmy temperatures can wait. I'm making raclette.

While fondue enjoyed a brief celebrity moment in the 1970s, its Swiss cuisine cousin, raclette, has never experienced the same level of stardom in the States. Having eaten both dishes on many occasions while living in Switzerland, I still favor the less popular of the two cheese-based dishes.Traditional fondue makes a delicious meal, but becomes fairly monotone in flavor as you continue to eat hunks of baguette dipped inkirsch-scented gruyere. Raclette, on the other hand, has the same comfort food-quality and do-it-yourself fun, but with a wider variety of tastes. Always a fan of multiple flavor combinations within a single dish, I opt for raclette every time.

To host a decent raclette party, you need a few essential ingredients: a warm bowl of small boiled potatoes, a platter of dried meats (such as prosciutto and viande sache), cornichons, pickled pearl onions and slices of raclette cheese, a semi-firm cow's milk cheese traditionally from France or Switzerland. For the authentic effect it's necessary to have a steady blaze going in your fireplace that you can hang your wheel of raclette cheese next to, and serve it on plates to your guests as it melts and sloughs off (in this scenario, it's also helpful to have a cabin in the Alps). But, for most of us, a raclette machine will do (or, if truly breaking tradition, a microwave, stovetop or other cheese-melting device).

Once you have your ingredients in order, the process is simple. Guests can put any combination of potatoes, meat and pickled vegetables on their plates. Then, if you have one, they melt slices of cheese in the raclette machine's individual warming trays. Once the cheese is sufficiently oozy, they scrape the cheese on top of their other ingredients with a wide wooden stick. The dish's name derives from this finishing touch, as racler means 'to scrape' in French. It's a beautiful, cheesy mess on the plate, with each bite offering a different possibility – nutty raclette, the pleasant saltiness of dried meat, the acidic brightness of pickled vegetables and warm potatoes, a soft backdrop to the intense variety of flavors. To complete the meal, serve a simple green salad on the side and plenty of good riesling (water is a sacrilege at raclette parties, as it’s said to harden the cheese in the stomach and create indigestion).

In the end, the bulky, square raclette machine on your dinner table might not be as sexy as a retro red fondue pot, but what it delivers is far better.

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found

            Baker College is the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. Our mission is to prepare you for meaningful employment.

            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
            • Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.
            • Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
            • Has campuses in Melbourne, Sarasota, and Tallahassee, Florida
            Show more [+]
            3 Program(s) Found
            • Has been training students in the culinary arts since 1946.
            • Teaches hands-on culinary training in French, Asian, Mediterranean, Latin and American cooking, along with professional baking and pastry techniques.
            • Helps students gain professional skills in culinary management.
            • Offers an Italian Culinary Arts program where students get to externship in Italy.
            • Its instructors are respected chefs who put their dedication and life experiences into their instruction.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            1 Program(s) Found
            Salter College , West Boylston
            • Offers training programs in preparation for professional careers in business, health care, and computers.
            • Provides associate and certificate programs in medical assisting, massage therapy, culinary arts, and more.
            • Places students in externships to gain real world experience before completing their respective program.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
            • 2 campuses in Chicopee and West Boylston, Massachusetts.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found

            Sullivan University is a private institution of higher learning dedicated to providing educational enrichment opportunities for the intellectual, social and professional development of its students. The institution offers career-focused curricula with increasing rigor from the certificate through diploma, associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree levels. Throughout those curricula, the university seeks to promote the development of critical thinking, effective verbal and written communication, computer literacy, and teamwork as well as an appreciation for life-long learning, cultural diversity and the expression of professionalism in all activities. At the graduate level, the university also seeks to promote a culture of research.