Cheese Fondue-Tasty and Trendy
Many people think of fondue as a retro-hip kind of dish, but cheese fondue can be a flavorful and easy alternative to fussy appetizers or pre-made snacks. On a lonely night a bowl of cheese fondue complemented by apples, raw vegetable and bread can make for a fantastic dinner along with a glass of wine. Yes, you can buy pre-made cheese fondue, but I really think it’s quite easy, and a lot cheaper to make your own fondue at home. Don’t be afraid, I’ll take you by the hand and show you just how simple cheese fondue recipes are to conquer!
Step 1- Gather your Materials
First things first, you need to gather your ingredients and tools before you begin making your cheese fondue. For the cooking hardware you will need:
-A fondue pot (I prefer electric though cheese fondue does fairly well over an open flame)
- Fondue forks (long, stick like forks with colors on the end to identify them)
-Sharp knives (for prepping vegetables and bread)
-Cheese grater (to freshly grate the cheese, trust me, it’s better than the pre-grated stuff)
For dipping make sure to gather:
-Bread (white and wheat are classics, though rye tastes heavenly with a swiss and Gruyere fondue)
- Raw vegetables and fruit (good dippers include bite sized pieces of broccoli, carrot and apples).
Your classic cheese fondue recipe includes swiss and Gruyere cheeses, and sometimes Emmentaler, though I find the last a bit expensive at my local store. I’ll include a recipe for a funky, cheddar based fondue later, but for right now let’s stick with the classics. You’ll need:
-1/2 pound shredded swiss cheese
-1/2 pound shredded Gruyere cheese
-1 cup dry white wine
-1 Tablespoon minced garlic
-2 Tablespoons flour
-1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Step 2-Saute, Simmer and Create an Alchemical Reaction of Tastiness
First, heat up your fondue pot to a medium-high heat. If you are working over an open flame, perhaps use the stove to achieve more consistent heat. Then:
-Toss the 1 Tbsp. minced garlic into the pot. Saute for about 30 second. The garlic should deepen in color but you don’t want it to burn! Ewww.
-Add wine to the pot and bring to low boil. Simmer the wine for about one minute.
-Add cheese to the pot about 1/4 pound at a time, stirring after each addition until all the cheese is melted.
-Add flour and stir until combined and smooth.
-Once mixture is melted, add salt and nutmeg.
Serve and enjoy! Or, eat shamelessly at the stove like my sister does.
A Three-Course Fondue Dinner
- How to Make Chocolate Fondue-With Recipes
Alright, I would totally be lying if I told you that I had devoured chocolate fondue as a dessert only.
- How to Make Meat Fondue-With Fondue Recipes
So, you've polished off the cheese fondue with bits of bread and apples, and are ready to move on to the main fondue event, meat fondue!
Cheddar Beer Fondue-Unabashed American Party Food
Ok, it might not be as shameless as chicken wings, but it comes pretty close. But who cares, it’s really good! This is a great dish to make before a manly (ie: Superbowl) party because you’ll probably already have beer on hand. You’ll need:
-2 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar
-1 cup shredded swiss
- 1 Tbsp flour
-1 cup beer (I like a thicker, ale type beer, but use what you have and experiment)
-1 Tbsp spicy mustard
Follow the above steps, substituting beer for wine, and without sauteeing the garlic (though I think this could be good too). Add the mustard at the end. This cheddar cheese fondue recipe would go great with:
as well as with all the typical fresh vegetables, apples and bread.
Keep that Party Going!
If you want to have a successful pot of cheese fondue, keep the following tips in mind.
1. Keep you fondue pot over a constant medium-low temperature. You want melted cheese, not seared cheese. Fortunately I find cheese fondue to be a lot more forgiving than oil for meat fondue or chocolate fondue. It’s great for beginners!
2. One pot of cheese fondue will feed about four people, five if they are light eaters. If you have more people at the party, set out more pots of fondue depending on the number of guests you have. Keeping your ingredients organized beforehand will help you make multiple batches!
3. Give your guests different color forks, so that they know which forks are theirs and germ sharing is kept to a minimum.
4. Use the freshest veggies, fruit and bread possible. The flavor of the cheese is strong, but it won’t mask week old broccoli.
But most of all, remember to have fun! Fondue is all about social eating and converging over a delicious pot of melted cheese. Talk, laugh, eat and enjoy life!
Marc Woodard from Portland, Oregon on March 04, 2010:
I remember when fondue was the bomb during the 70's. Could never get enough of that delicious stuff.