Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cheese fondue

I have been craving all things cheese. I haven't mentioned on the blog yet that I am pregnant -- due in late September! -- and that is the true explanation for missing six weeks of blogging a while back. The early pregnancy nausea kept me as far from the kitchen as I could get.

Well, what's better than cheese fondue if you're craving something cheesy? Unfortunately, I won't be making this for myself today because I'm not sure the alcohol in it cooks off. That's why there's no photo. I'll post one the next time I make this, though! I just wanted to share the recipe with all you cheese lovers out there.

This is my dad's special recipe, which he's been making for as long as I can remember. It comes from a 1965 book by the editors of Holiday magazine (which I'm pretty sure no longer exists), called "Wines of the World." I'm pretty sure that's the title. It has a chapter on cooking with wine.

My dad says he adheres to the recipe strictly and doesn't let anyone rush him while he's slowly melting the cheese. He also says to splurge on the cheese; get the nice, imported kind.

My sisters- and brother-in-law made cheese and other fondues at Christmastime, and their cheese one tasted the same as this one. I would bet their ingredients were exactly the same. (It's thanks to them that Dan and I now own our own fondue pot. Thanks, Kara, John, and Kristen!)

Cheese fondue (serves 4)

1 French baguette, cut into small cubes and toasted (you can also just cut up a day-old baguette and not toast it)

2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

1-3/4 cup dry white wine

3 cups, or about 3/4 pound, grated, imported Swiss cheese, such as Gruyere or Compte (sorry, I don't know how to do accents with this computer!)

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons butter, softened

2 tablespoons heavy cream, maybe even a little more if your fondue is turning out too thick

salt and fresh ground black pepper

3 tablespoons imported Kirsch (a French or German cherry liquor, also known as eau de vie)

1.) In a small saucepan, bring the white wine and garlic to a rapid boil. Let it boil until the wine reduces to 1-1/3 cup. This could take a while.

2.) Strain the garlic out of the wine, pouring the wine into your fondue pot.

3.) Mix the grated cheese with the flour. Bring the reduced wine to a boil, then immediately turn it down to a simmer, and toss the cheese/flour into it one handful at a time, allowing it to get smooth each time.

4.) When all the cheese is smooth, swirl in the butter. Swirl in the heavy cream (adding more if you think it's too thick), and seasoning with salt and pepper.

5.) Just before serving, stir in the Kirsch.

6.) Serve in a fondue pot, over a small flame, with cubes of French bread and fondue sticks. A green salad goes well with this.


Jen aka Jewbacca said...

i'm not be one of those vegans, get all pious and say "i don't miss cheese one bit!" because that's not really true. occasionally i miss a good fondue. i've found a sauce from the uncheese cookbook that i use all the time and is very tangy and sharp. good for dippin' bread and what not.

reflecting on an earlier post, do you and dan go morel "hunting"? where? could we come?

Holly said...

My family is throwing me a party after our baby is born. I'm putting this recipe on my wish list for the bash. YUM!

Nicole said...

Fun idea! I'm so wanting this dish right now myself...

sutros said...

A good story

GK Chesterton: “The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”

Voila: www.tastingtoeternity.com. This book is a poetic view of 30 of the best loved French cheeses with an additional two odes to cheese. Recipes, wine pairing, three short stories and an educational section complete the book.

From a hectic life on Wall Street to the peace and glories of the French countryside lead me to be the co-founder of www.fromages.com. Ten years later with the words of Pierre Androuet hammering on my brain:

“Cheese is the soul of the soil. It is the purest and most romantic link between humans and the earth.”

I took pen and paper; many reams later with the midnight oil burning Tasting to Eternity was born and self published.

I believe cheese and wine lovers should be told about this publication.