We’re ready for tonight’s big game: the first Team USA soccer game as part of the 2014 World Cup. And while the action itself will hopefully entertain, you’ll need more than just a TV or projector to really host a party. Whatever the size of your group, apartment, or viewing, you probably don’t want to be distracted too much during the festivities, which could mean simply ordering in… or you could surprise visitors with an awesome, surprisingly inexpensive way to keep everyone occupied, satisfied, and satiated.
Many Americans don’t seem to know what a racelette is for, much less own one. And, admittedly, it’s a bit of a specialist piece of kitchen equipment- but Swissmar’s Swivel Raclette is good for far more than just melting cheese. The stone top allows you to cook vegetables, like peppers, mushrooms, and asparagus, as well as any meats you want, or use the grill top and then switch them over to keep everything warm. There are eight separate trays and pans for the cheese, and the whole thing works like a centerpiece, allowing you to keep your eye on everything else and let guests manage their own food.
The coolest part is right there in the name- it swivels, twisting from a four-person across the table configuration to a longer one, lengthwise. Cooking is not super fast- and is fairly casual- but is ideal for when you have a group of eight or so and want something a little unusual, with folks who don’t mind (or prefer) a little more control. It’s important but not essential that everyone likes cheese, and you don’t need to get true “raclette” cheese for this to work. It can be tough to find the real thing in the US, but you can substitute Gruyère or even Emmentaler easily. The grill is non-stick coated, which means you shouldn’t use metal utensils, and the unit can be a bit annoying to clean (like just about anything where you’re melting cheese really).
Placement can be tough, as with any electric grill, as the cord might end up in the middle of your group and if you want to use on a table, you’ll probably need an extension cord handy. There aren’t temperature controls, so it does take a careful eye or at least a little experimentation, but that’s part of the fun of entertaining. And separate power buttons are available, so you can switch either side off as needed. It’s nicely built, with everything you need inside, including eight plastic spatulas. At the price, it’s a pretty amazing addition to any kitchen, and fun for just about everyone- your parties will never be the same with some gherkins and raclette. Available now, online and in stores, expect to spend around $150 for the Swissmar Swivel!