Tableside Cooking With Homemade Fondue and Raclette
Both homemade fondue and raclette are festive ways to cook a special meal right at the table. They’re especially well-suited to Valentine’s Day, since the focus is on doing something fun together.
Homemade fondue and raclette are easier when you have the right cooking equipment. We’ll recommend a few of our favorites, along with some delicious ideas for what to cook.
Homemade Fondue: The Right Tools
While you can make fondue on the stovetop, it’s much more fun for everyone to share a fondue pot in the middle of the table. Or if you’re celebrating as a couple on Valentine’s Day, a fondue pot is more romantic than leaning over a gas burner.
We love the All-Clad Fondue Pot (above) for a number of reasons. First, it has a 3-quart capacity — that’s a lot of cheese or chocolate! This pot also has slots to hold fondue forks in place while cooking meat in oil or broth, and the built-in base is sized to hold a can of Sterno.
What’s really awesome about this pot is that everything can go in the dishwasher — which will come in handy with all the inevitable cheese and chocolate drippings.
Raclette: The Right Tools
Raclette is actually a type of cheese originally melted over a fire and spread onto potatoes and pickled vegetables. While you can still eat raclette this way, we think the raclette grills from Swissmar are a much more comfortable option.
For two people or a small family, try the Swissmar 8-Person Raclette Grill. The cast iron plate can reverse from grill to griddle, depending on what you’re cooking. Even though there are eight raclette dishes, you don’t have to use them all at once. Or go ahead and use them all — there’s no such thing as too much cheese.
If you’re thinking about throwing a raclette party — what a fun dinner party idea! — we recommend the Swissmar Swivel Raclette Grill (above). It opens up to extend in both directions, making it easier for guests to access from both sides of the table.
Homemade Fondue and Raclette: What to Cook
Of course cheese and chocolate should be on the menu, especially for Valentine’s Day. But if you’re looking for some more unusual ideas, we love the suggestions in this post from Yuppiechef. Grill meat and veggie skewers on the top plate. Caramelize fruit with honey and fresh herbs in the raclette dishes.
We also recommend this post from teach mama which has tons of smart tips on how to do fondue right, especially for a family. One of her top tips is to heat everything up on the stovetop before transferring to the fondue pot. Sterno is best at keeping hot food hot, rather than being the sole heat source for the whole cooking process.
Finally, whether you opt for raclette or homemade fondue, be especially careful with raw meat. Keep all uncooked meat on one plate, and ensure it’s thoroughly cooked before eating.