So at least one person out there in cyberland likes the recipe section, so to celebrate, I’m adding a new one.
OK, there’s about two and a half feet of snow on my front and back lawns right now and when that happens, my thoughts turn to cheese fondue. I will say for the record, that the President’s Choice packaged stuff is pretty good, but I enjoy the ritual of making this from scratch, so here we go:
Classic Cheese Fondue
1 garlic clove, halved
1 1/2 cups dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc is nice)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 lb (8 oz) Emmentaler cheese, grated (approx. 2 cups)
1/2 lb (8 oz) Gruyère cheese, grated (approx. 2 cups)
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp kirsch (it’s a cherry brandy)
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
Pinch of white pepper
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
1 loaf of French bread, cubed (but feel free to use other things as well, like small boiled potatoes, zucchini chunks and mushrooms).
Rub the inside of a heavy saucepan with one of the garlic halves and then discard garlic. Pour the wine and lemon juice into the pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Gradually add the cheeses, a bit at a time, stirring in a constant zig-zag/figure eight motion. Wait until each handful of cheese has fully melted before adding the next. Do not let it boil.
When all the cheeses have melted, in a small bowl, whisk together the kirsch and cornstarch until blended and then pour into the cheese mixture. Continue to cook gently for a couple of minutes more.
Continue to stir, and add the mustard, white pepper and nutmeg. Reduce heat to low and keep the fondue warm until really to serve. Stir occasionally.
Rub inside the fondue pot with the other half of garlic and then transfer the cheese mixture to this pot and keep warm according to the type of fondue pot you have.
Serve with the bread cubes (and anything else you like) using traditional fondue forks for dipping. Recently, I discovered that having a shallow dish of Kirsch on the table to lightly dip the bread into before dipping into the cheese can be a good thing.
And there are few things in life more delicious than the bottom layer of cheese buildup in the pot when you’re done.