• Posted by Allison Grimaldi Donahue on December 27th, 2008, 9:33 PM

    I recently purchased a medium-sized red cast iron fondue pot by Le Creuset. I think the cast iron pot made a big difference because there wasn’t even a little burning, which I have seen happen with steel fondue pots. You can always eat the cheese straight from the saucepan but the feeling isn’t the same and the cheese doesn’t stay quite as warm without the little flame.

    While it is on the stove, the key is to keep things moving. Once it is in the fondue pot the key is simply to keep eating, then there is no danger of burning the cheese. I served two separate batches of fondue, that way the cheese stayed evenly melted and everyone got their fill.

    Before you even begin to mix the cheese you should cut the crusty bread into squares that will fit onto the fondue forks. We also set out some speck and cornichons in little bowls for people to snack on and take a break from the cheese.

    Ingredients

    ½ lb. each Emmenthal, Gruyère, Vacherin Fribourgeois, Appenzeller (Other cheeses can be used, the key is freshness and strong flavors. Any fine foods store should have a few good Swiss cheeses; try them at the cheese counter and fit the fondue to your taste. I would suggest: Entelbucher Schwingerkase, Hoch Ybrig, Comté, Napfkase and Chartreaux.)

    1 peeled clove of garlic

    3 cups dry white wine (an inexpensive Pinot Grigio works fine)

    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

    2 tablespoons cornstarch

    1/8 cup cassis or kirsch

    Dashes and sprinkles of salt, pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg

    Grate all of the cheeses into separate bowls.

    Rub the clove of garlic all around the inside of a saucepan. Discard the garlic and pour in the white wine and a spoonful of fresh lemon juice and bring it to a simmer.

    From each bowl, take small handful of cheese and add them to the simmering wine along with a tablespoon of cornstarch and mix until it becomes liquid-like. Add the cassis for a touch of fruity sweetness then add salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon to taste.

    Keep adding small handfuls of each cheese to obtain a balance of flavors that you like.  When it’s done, pour the fondue into your fondue pot and place it over the little burner at a low heat.

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