Tag Archives: raclette

Grill of My Dreams

This weekend I finally got to rev up one of our wedding presents, which is, quite simply, the greatest thing ever – a raclette grill.

For the most part, the Swiss are quite happy being Swiss, enjoying their lives in Switzerland. They don’t really get involved, except to offer the world some first-rate luxury exports from time to time – namely, chocolate, watches, and Roger Federer. I like that their national motto is the same as The Three Musketeers’, “One for all, all for one” and their foreign policy is sensibly isolationist.

One thing the Swiss aren’t neutral about, though, is cheese. They rock at it. They take cheese to another level. And they invented the cheese-melting machine of my dreams, the raclette grill.

Raclette Opening Box

This addition to our household was such an occasion, I had to blog about it!

You can get raclette cheese in pre-sliced packages. The little squares fit perfectly into the trays, called coupelles.

Raclette Cheese Package

Raclette Cheese Slices

Another major component is the meat, which gets seared on the top griddle. We got the butcher to cut some thin slices of filet mignon. You can marinade it in advance, but we chose to simply salt and pepper it as we go.

Raclette Parson's Nose Steak Raw Slices Filet

Raclette Filet Steak

The accompaniments are also important: a charcuterie of cured meats, boiled potatoes, and cornichon are the main ones.

Raclette Table

Raclette Cured Meats

raclette Sauces

The Hubster even whipped up a pair of condiments – a creamy curry sauce, and an herby yogurt sauce with dill, basil and cilantro.

Nothing left to do but switch on the raclette grill!

Raclette Machine Turning it on

It’s so perfectly compact, and ideal for the tabletop. Bop a piece of steak on the hot grill to sear, while the tray of cheese melts on the grill below.

Raclette Steak on the Grill

Raclette Cheese and Steak

Raclette Steak Sizzling

Raclette Tray Melted

When you hear the cheese start bubbling, just remove the tray from the heat, and pour onto your plate! Preferably over potatoes, or whatever else happens to be in the way.

Raclette Cheese Cheesy

Raclette Melty Cheese

Raclette Melty Stringy

Raclette Stringy Cheese

Raclette Cheesy Plate

Well, there you have it: the most amazing invention a true cheese lover could ever hope for.

And a gift that will keep the sizzle in our marriage for many years to come!

Le Chalet at Selfridges

Christmas is two weeks away!

And is this not the most enthusiastic face you’ve ever seen on a man about to head into the holiday hullabaloo that is Christmas shopping on Oxford Street?

Eddie Tube

Our destination: Selfridges.

Essentially, the British version of Macy’s – and a magnet for retail tourism.

Their window displays have become a destination in their own right. Framed in twinkling pine boughs, this year’s theme is fairy tales. Leave it to a department store (founded by an American) to take the enchantment and imagination of childhood fantasies and sell them back to us as merchandising.

Selfridges Bagpiper

Selfridges Window Display Gold Fairytale

Though the fairy tale theme is hardly original, consumers are especially susceptible to their familiar notions of romance and happiness during the holiday period. If, for some people, that happiness just happens to be Chinese handbags stamped with the name of a certain Project Runway star, who am I to judge?*

Selfridges Window Display Winter 2014

Selfridges Window Display Villian

Selfridges Hat in Hand Outside Pine Boughs

Selfridges Window Paddington Tax

Paddington Bear is back on the scene again.

Selfridges Window Paddington

I even bumped into him as we staggered through crowds on the 4th floor Christmas Shop.

Selfridges Paddington

After checking our lists twice and whizzing through the queues for the register, we made tracks to the roof terrace for lunch at the Alpine-themed Le Chalet.

Selfridges Le Chalet Entrance

Selfridges Le Chalet Table

Seated by the window with a view over Mayfair’s pink skies, we could wrestle our bags under the table and order a much-needed drink.

Selfridges Le Chalet Window Seat

Selfridges Le Chalet View

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And I’m not talking about a glass of chardonnay…

At Le Chalet, it’s all about the “Choctails”! Served from the hot chocolate bar, these cocoa toddies are deliriously sweet and incredibly boozy! Sip with extreme caution!

Selfridges Le Chalet Choctails

Hazelnut "Choctail"

Hazelnut “Choctail”

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I ordered the Hazelnut, and it was blinkin’ delicious!

While the sugar rush hit our bloodstream, we ordered a few nibbles to fortify us through the rest of the shopping day ahead.

Gooey raclette with sliceds of dry cured beef, pickles and potatoes

Gooey raclette with sliceds of dry cured beef, pickles and potatoes

Selfridges Le Chalet Raclette

Cornish crab with pickled celeriac & mustard

Cornish crab with pickled celeriac & mustard

Peppered tuna with wasabi avocado

Peppered tuna with wasabi avocado

The interlude was just what we needed before round two of Christmas madness resumed.

Selfridges Yoda

A very jolly day out shopping, we had!

*His bags are selling like hotcakes to the English gals (seriously)! So out of awe and admiration to the guy, here’s a tribute to everyone’s favourite reality fashion show personality.