Thursday, December 9, 2010

Fondue Favorites

The Big Geek and I love fondue. What's not to love--melted cheese and stuff to dip into it? It's awesome. When we have a fondue party, I like to make one traditional fondue and one cheddar-beer fondue. Both are good, and are suited for dipping different things. These are my favorites so far:

Swiss Three-Cheese Fondue

1/2 lb grated Gruyere cheese
1/2 lb grated Emmentaler cheese
3 oz (1/2 cup) grated Appenzeller cheese
1 clove garlic
1 cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp kirsch (Kirschwasser)
white pepper to taste
nutmeg to taste

Rub the inside of a medium saucepan (or the fondue pot) with the peeled garlic clove. Throw away garlic clove. Add the wine and lemon juice and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

In a medium bowl, mix the cheeses with the cornstarch and toss. Stir the cheese mixture into the wine mixture one small handful at a time, making sure each handful is melted before adding another (try stirring in figure 8s). Do not let the mixture boil (a little bubbling is ok). Season with the nutmeg and pepper, and stir in the kirsch.

I like this one best with chunks of crusty bread, cooked broccoli, roasted potato wedges, or crisp cooked carrot.

German Cheddar and Beer Fondue:

10 oz (2 1/2 cups) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
4-6 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded (1-1 1/2 cups)
1 rounded Tbsp flour
1 cup German lager
2 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
a few drops of hot sauce
a few drops of Worcestershire sauce

In a bowl combine the cheeses and flour. Add the beer to a small pot (or the fondue pot) and bring up to a bubble over medium heat. Reduce the heat to simmer and add the cheese in small handfuls, stirring constantly. When the cheese has been incorporated fully, stir in the mustard, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.

I like this one best with green apple slices, small sausages or slices of sausage, and crusty bread.

I like to make the fondue in the fondue pot on the stove. Your ability to do this depends greatly on the type of fondue pot you have. I suggest a cast iron or enamel pot, not a thin metal one.

Obviously, this is not a great meal choice for little geeks since long sharp forks are involved. We like to do this with friends or on our own after the little geeks are in bed.

Also: this is NOT the time to decide to count fat grams. Use full-fat cheese. If you're worried about doing that, then you probably shouldn't have fondue. On the plus side, if you don't dip bread or potatoes it's low-carb. . .

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