Or. How do you forgive yourself for making a most decadent cheese fondue?
have no shame about my love of fondue. Everything oooey-gooey and utterly decadent. Melted cheese you can play with. Can you think of a more fun food?
entirely missed the 70’s in America, my parents had no lurking horror somewhere in their closets. There was no avocado colored monster lurking
somewhere in storage. No fondue came to
me entirely as a surprise.
Not that I hadn’t heard of such I thing. I just never got macramé flashbacks every time I heard the word fondue.
was introduced to it only a few years ago by a close friend who discovered a
local branch of the Melting Pot chain.
was instantly enchanted.
is my kind of meal. Little bites of
stuff that you hunt down, stab with your spea…er…fork, then hold into a molten
pit of lava cheese.
even better when the pieces are little bits of meat and the lava is a bubbling
cauldron of broth, steaming and burbling like some medieval witches brew.
get giddy thinking about it!
my second visit, I had to find a fondue pot and start researching recipes. And after reading well over 100 recipes for
cheese fondue I have boiled it down to a formula.
parts alcohol + 1 part flavorful cheese + 1 part melting cheese + 1 part
it. Everything else is either a stabilizer
(cornstarch) or a flavoring agent.
course I am a blue cheese fiend. I have
never met a blue cheese I didn’t like. And
I am particularly fond of a good English stilton. There is nothing better than that salty-spicy
tang. So unsurprisingly, my favorite
fondue recipe features blue cheese, but almost any full flavored cheese will
do. Even a good sharp cheddar is
excellent in a recipe like this.
also makes a good fondue mixed with other mild cheeses so that its mellow
flavors can shine. Brie is particularly
good with fruit dippers. Pears, apples,
grapes and even peaches go really well with triple crème brie.
really, almost anything that can be served on a cheese board can be served as a
dipper for fondue. I love to make up
lots of veggies and some sour apples for mine, sneaking in the occasional piece
of smoked sausage for variety. But most
important for fondue is a good quality bread. My favorites for this include day old sourdough and crusty French baguettes
which stand up well to the melted cheese. Herbed or garlic rubbed bread is also excellent so long as it is hearty
and ever so slightly stale. If the bread
is too fresh it will crumble into the fondue never to be seen again.
And that is just a tragedy.
really is a one pot meal. It is both
salad course and main dish. Of course no
one would blame you if you served a chocolate fondue for dessert…
cups hard cider or dark ale
¼ cup peach or pear brandy
8-10 ounces cave aged gruyere (or aged jack)
8-10 ounces emmentaler (or swiss)
8-10 ounces good quality blue cheese (I prefer stilton)
4 cloves garlic crushed
¼ teaspoon cayenne
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Salt and pepper to Taste
Dippers (crusty bread, veggies, sausages, fruit)
the 1 ½ cups of the hard cider to a boil over medium heat. Add the brandy and spices. Allow to boil for 10 minutes to boil out the alcohol. It is fun, but ill advised to light the
mixture on fire…so long as the fire extinguisher is handy. And you keep your eyebrows out of the way.
Grate the hard cheese and crumble the blue cheese into one inch chunks. Mix the shredded cheese with the cornstarch.
in thirds, add the cheese and cornstarch mixture to the boiling cider. Stir quickly with a whisk until the cheese
melts into the liquid. Repeat with
remaining cheese. Whisk constantly until
the cheese is thoroughly melted. Add the
blue cheese and allow the mixture to come to a gentle bubble, whisking
constantly to dissolve clumps of cheese. The mixture should pour easily but not clump and stretch.
the mixture is too thin, add a bit more cheese mixed with a little bit of
cornstarch. If too thick, add reserved
One the mixture is to your liking, pour into a prepared fondue pot or serve it straight from the pot, reheating as necessary.
Left over fondue can be frozen and reheated.
how do I forgive myself for making this most utterly decadent cheese fondue?
By using the left over veggies in a stir-fry the next day.