And I’m back from my brief blogging hiatus! It was so nice to spend the weekend with friends from Furman (where I went to college), whom I haven’t seen in many months. But now my month long vacation is over and it’s back to Dallas and back to school!
I must share, though, what delicious food Marshall and I made over the holiday break. It’s cheesy, gooey, and warm and one of my favorite holiday meals!
We’ll get back to what exactly the dark stuff is in the picture. But for all purposes at this moment, that dark stuff is delicious and why it is 100% necessary to make cheese fondue at home.
But here’s my step-by-step guide on how to make cheese fondue! While some might be intimidated by the thought of making cheese fondue, no need to be! All you are doing is basically melting a bunch of cheese. It’s very hard to go wrong with that!
But first things first: grab yourself a medium sized pot and a clove of garlic (chopped lengthwise). Then rub the cut side of the garlic ALL over the inside of the pot. This is an important step, so don’t forget it! There will be a visible “wet” looking layer of garlic essence on the inside of the pot when you’re done.
On the stove over medium heat, add about 1.5 cups of dry white wine and warm the liquid until it begins to rapidly simmer (not boil).
Once simmering, add in the cheese! You will need about 1 pound of gruyere, shredded and about 1 pound of emmental, shredded. These are the traditional cheeses used in Fondue recipes and I think they make the best tasting fondue! But take the time and get some nicely aged and tasty cheeses. You don’t have to get the most expensive cheeses out there, get a cheese that you would want to eat by itself with crackers.
Tip: Stores like Sams’s and Costco have many of the specialty cheese in 1 lb. blocks for a great price! Go there to get your fondue cheeses.
Add the cheese to the warmed wine a little bit at a time, whisking the cheese until it is fully melted after each addition.
After the cheese has melted, take a small bowl and combine the 2 teaspoons of kirsch (a cheery liqueur) with 2 teaspoons of corn starch. Stir until smooth and combined.
If you can’t find kirsch, you can also use 2 teaspoons of triple sec instead. That is what I had on hand that night, so that was what we used. Stir until there are no lumps! Then whisk the mixture into the cheese.
Finally stir in the juice from 1/2 of a lemon, 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper. Before adding the cheese to the fondue pot, rub a second garlic clove (cut side down) all over the inside of your fondue pot. Then pour in the cheese, and set the fondue pot over a sterno flame to keep it warm.
Serve with accompaniments like bite sized pieces of crusty french bread! Some other of my favorite dipping foods are roasted potatoes and mushrooms, steamed green beans and carrots, apples, cherry tomatoes, and sweet bell peppers. But get creative with your fondue!
Do you remember the dark delicious-ness in the first picture? Here’s a refresher:
THIS is crusty cheese! When you put your fondue pot over a sterno flame, the cheese closest to the bottom of the pot heats faster and sort of “melts” to the bottom of the pot. If you stick your fondue fork in the bottom of the cheese, you can feel it. Then you must take your fondue fork and SRAPE the cheese off the bottom. It takes a little bit of elbow grease, but that delicious little bite of crusty cheese is totally worth it! The cheese forms best at the bottom of a ceramic fondue pot, but we also got some of the crust cheese off the the bottom of coated metal pot. If you’re using a metal pot, don’t wait too long to get to the cheese, otherwise it will burn!