41A5140BGRL._SS260_.jpgFor those who have yet to experience the joy of a raclette grill, may this be your lucky season. Raclette, named after the cheese that is melted in it, is what happens when fondue meets Korean BBQ. The basic structure of the raclette machine is a handy compartment used to melt cheese tucked neatly under a large, flat top grill (pictured left). The grill is covered with an array of meats and vegetables and the cheese compartments get amply filled with raclette cheese. When the cheese has reached the gooeyness of your liking it is then poured over whatever was grabbed from the grill – resulting in a meal that is as fun to make as is to eat. Throw in some crisp white wines or Belgium blonde beers and you may even have a party on your hand.

To get a Raclette grill of your own, there is no need to travel to Swiss Alps - although if we ever needed an excuse to go to the Swiss Alps, this would probably be it. Actually you don't need to travel at all since there is a decent selection available online. Or you can pick one up at the Sur la Table store in Soho. Be prepared to pay anywhere from $60 - $120 for it. That may seem a little expensive for a fancy fondue contraption, but we assure you, it is so much more than that. Even your next generation George Forman Grill may develop a slight inferiority complex.

What you’ll need:
Cheese: Traditionally raclette is used but any mild cheese that melts well can work.

For the Grill: Assortment of veggies and meats. If you want to get creative, Italian cold-cuts like prosciutto get nice and crispy on the grill.

Extras: Raclette is traditionally served with a baked potato, which makes the perfect vehicle for the cheese, meat and veggies. Slice up a baguette as well.

What to drink: Dry white wines and beer are the great pairings for this meal. For white wines try a Sauvignon Blanc or a Savennieres from the Loire Valley.

With many raclette machines having 8 or more cheese compartments, “cooking” a delicious meal for four of your friends is ridiculously easy. But don’t let them on to that. It’s always better to leverage their appreciation and have them bring the wine.