Nel and I spent Saturday evening making delicious cheese fondue. After seeing Midnight in Paris in the theatre, (which was by the way a fantastic movie!) we came back to her place to make fondue. This is one of our favorites to treat ourselves to.
It's especially fun to make around the holidays, but honestly we love cheese year round! You can pick up a fondue set for around $20.00 at Bed Bath and Beyond. We bought the ingredients from Trader Joe's, but you should be able to find them at any grocery store. Here is the scrumptious recipe we normally use from Fondue by Lorraine Turner:
Gruyère with Asparagus
Preperation time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes
1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
generous 1 3/4 cups dry white wine
5 tbsp. brandy
14 oz / 400 g Gruyère cheese, grated
7 oz / 200 g Emmental cheese, grated
3 1/2 oz / 100 g Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp. cornstarch
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper
Dippers: (just a few ideas... it's fun to experiment with a large assortment of dippers):
fresh crusty bread, cut into bite-size pieces
small pieces of asparagus
mini sausages or dry salami
veggies (carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, etc.)
1. Rub the inside of a flameproof fondue pot with the garlic. Discard the garlic. Pour in the wine, then add 3 tablespoons of the brandy, transfer to a pot on the stove, and bring to a gentle simmer over low heat.
2. Add a handful of grated cheese and stir constantly until metled. Continue to add the cheese gradually, stirring constantly after each addition. Repeat until all the cheese has been added and stir until thoroughly melted and bubbling gently. (Getting the right consistency of the fondue is a little tricky. Once the cheese is blended, it will be somewhat runny, but when you add the cornstarch solution, the cheese should thicken. You can always add more cheese to thicken it up, and it will continue to set once you are finished cooking it.)
3. In a bowl, mix the cornstarch with the remaining brandy. Stir into the fondue and continue to stir for 3-4 minutes, or until thickened and bubbling. Stir in the nutmeg and season to taste.
4. Using protective mits, transfer the fondue into your fondue pot, and light the tabletop burner to keep it warm. To serve, invite your guests to spear the dippers onto fondue forks and dip them into the fondue.
Fondue is not only a delicious treat, but an edible conversation piece.
Our favorite part has to be tasting each dipper, or a combination of dippers with the cheese. There is so much flavor and variety, which we LOVE. If you try the recipe, let us know how it turned out and what your favorite dipper was!