Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fondue

Whilst there is still a chill in the air why not imagine you're in a remote chalet in Switzerland and settle down to a cheese fondue? It's a jolly, social dish - If you prepare everything else beforehand and grate all the cheese you can seat your guests (or guest) at the table with a glass of wine and take it in turns to stir.

You need a soft white bread with a good crispy crust so that it doesn't fall apart in the cheese. A baguette or white flute is perfect. You will be consuming what is really an insane quantity of cheese so I usually just serve a simple salad of lettuce dressed with lemon and olive oil and some crunchy cornichons and pickled onions to cut through the richness of the cheese. Remember your fondue is only as good as the cheese you buy so go for the counter rather than the shelf.



350g Emmental - grated
350g Gruyere - grated
1 big clove of garlic
500ml dry white wine
Nutmeg
1 tbl spoon Kirsh, Gin or Brandy
White baguette or flute cut into bite-sized cubes

First peel your garlic clove and cut it in half. Rub the moist, cut end of the clove around the inside of your fondue pot (a cast iron one works best as the rough surface really takes the garlic). Fire the whole contraption up and place your pot above the flame. Pour in the white wine and allow it to heat up. Once the wine is hot start adding the Emmental and Gruyere a handful at a time. Sir with a small wooden spoon and let each handful melt before adding another. Once all the cheese is in and has melted to a pleasing consistency, turn the flame down low and add your Kirsch and a good grating of nutmeg.



If you don't have a fondue set then a pan over a hob would work fine. Though if you do have one it will come with little sticks for pronging and dipping the bread so it's worth investing. As the fondue progresses it will get thicker and thicker and more and more delicious! Our fondue set was one of our engagement presents - thanks Mum!

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