Last week I had an absolutely sublime 7-day visit with my mom who was visiting from London, Ontario. We had so much effortless fun together – going for long walks, having quiet lunches in nice restaurants, drinking gin and tonics, observing bald eagles, and repainting all of my kitchen cupboards turquoise. On Thursday night I had some friends over for a raclette party, something that I had been wanting to try hosting ever since selling massive amounts of raclette cheese to people throughout all of Novemeber and December. Out of all other dinner parties I have ever hosted I found this to be the most laid back and fun; I love having people over to eat hands-on food like raclette because it provides a reason for people to be up and chatting while they prepare the perfect raclette plate. Everyone brought something to melt their cheese on and my mom and I had spent the afternoon visiting Granville Island to get the ingredients for poached shrimp, roasted tomatoes, marinated asparagus, lemon aioli, and spring carrots (as well as some jarred roasted artichokes and pickled balsamic onions.)
Steamed asparagus with olive oil, red wine vinegar, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper with poached shrimp and lemon.
Mixed olives, pickled balsamic onions, and roasted artichokes.
Steamed spring carrots and snap peas, cremini mushrooms sautéed in butter and thyme, and roasted grape tomatoes seasoned with fennel seeds, dill, oregano, and chili flakes.
Roasted whole potatoes, soft white bread and apple slices.
If you own a raclette grill or know of a cheese shop or restaurant supply store where you can rent one of these machines out I would highly suggest it. At the cheese shop I work at in Vancouver, les amis du FROMAGE, we will rent out a raclette (or fondue!) machine if you purchase your cheese from our store. As for the accompaniments well, you can let your imagination run wild but to get you thinking you could try… pear slices, grilled steak, roasted sweet and hot peppers, cornichons, zucchini, grainy mustard, chorizo, prosciutto, roasted garlic, small apple pie slices, etc., etc.
As for what we were listening to…
Happy Mondays – Step On