How to Make Raclette | Président
Every year, cheese lovers all over Europe wait for the winter season to roll around to savour this delicious, melty cheese dish known as raclette – from the French word “racler”, “to scrape”.
Raclette originated centuries ago when farmers would make a meal of cheese melted by a campfire and served over potatoes and pickles. Its popularity quickly spread and now raclette is one of France’s best-loved dishes.
Making raclette is a great way to enjoy the delicious flavours of Président gourmet cheese. Informal but cultivated, raclette is easy, requires little preparation and is a very sociable dish. Guests melt their own cheese and can be creative with their accompaniment choice. While the cheese is melting and the accompaniments are cooking, you can sip a glass of wine and spend time with your guests.
Raclette is guaranteed to please everyone, making it perfect for low-key parties – especially during winter. Use these 5 Président tips below to create the perfect raclette experience right here in Australia:
1. The Raclette Grill
First of all, you will need a raclette grill. There are different types but fundamentally a raclette grill will include individual serving trays in which you can melt cheese, with an upper grill level for meats, fish and vegetables. Simply place your raclette grill in the middle of the table and pre-heat.
If you can’t get hold of a raclette grill, try melting your cheese under the grill. It’s not as fun, but you can still enjoy the melty deliciousness!
2. The Cheese
Président Comté is the ideal cheese for raclette. An authentic French cheese made in the Franche-Comté region of eastern France, Président Comté is renowned for its semi-hard texture, pale yellow interior and nutty, fruity flavour. It melts easily, making it the perfect choice for making raclette.
You’ll need about 200g of Comté per guest. Slice and place portions on individual plates, one for each person. Guests will then add each slice to their raclette grill trays, where they melt and are ready to serve over the accompaniments.
3. The Accompaniments
Raclette is traditionally served with boiled potatoes, bread and pickled vegetables but the delicious melted cheese makes a great topping for a variety of foods, some of which we’ve listed below:
- Cherry tomatoes
- French baguette
- Cured meat – prosciutto, parma ham, salami etc.
All ingredients should be chopped and sliced prior to serving, then presented in small, individual bowls around the centre of the table. Feel free to experiment!
4. The Best Part – Eating!
- Once you’re ready, preheat the raclette grill.
- Each diner takes a slice of Président Comté, adds it to their individual raclette tray and slides it under the grill.
- While the cheese is melting, add any accompaniments that need heating to the upper grill.
- Once the cheese is bubbling and turning brown around the edges, remove the tray from under the grill. Each slice will take about 5 minutes to melt but be careful not to overcook as it will affect the flavours and textures.
- Prepare your plate with your accompaniments and scrape all the cheese from the tray over the top using a small wooden spatula.
- Eat and enjoy!
*Tip* It’s a good idea to add a new slice of cheese under the grill as soon as you’ve scraped the previous portion. That way, you’re never without!
5. Don’t Forget the Wine
When it comes to raclette, Chardonnay and Riesling Spätlese offer ideal contrasts to the rich cheese flavours and work equally well with cured meats. For those with a preference for red wines, Rioja and Pinot Noir would also make a great match. If you’re after a sparkling, go for a Champagne Brut. The high acidity helps cut the buttery texture of the cheese and cleanses your palette.
Making raclette adds a gourmet touch to any occasion and makes sure no one goes home hungry! It’s also the perfect comfort food to enjoy in the cooler months. Did we mention that it’s easy to tidy-up afterwards?
You can find Président Comté in Woolworths now.