Fondue is a classic Swiss melted cheese dish that was perfect for long cold snowy nights when groups of people with no TV’s or video games gathered to pass the evening actually talking to each other. With no electricity either when fondue was born a few hundred years ago, the first fondue pots were heated in a fireplace. Today we have fondue pots designed to keep the cheese warm using more modern methods. The cheese should be kept warm and melted but not so hot that the cheese burns on the bottom of the pot.
Wildly popular back in the 50’s and 60’s fondue is making a comeback. These days vintage fondue pots are being dug out of attics and are fetching high prices at auctions. No fondue pot? You can also use a small crock pot or a hot plate to keep the cheese warm & melty. However you keep it warm, it’ll be a hit at your next party or buffet spread.
1 small garlic clove
1 cup dry white wine
3/4 pound Gruyère cheese grated
3/4 pound Emmenthaler or Swiss cheese grated
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
AND… a selection of any of the following: crusty bread cubes, Italian breadticks, pretzels, pita triangles, small meatballs, cubed cooked beef tenderloin chicken or turkey, cooked shrimp, small cooked new potatoes, artichoke hearts, asparagus spears, steamed broccoli, cauliflower; carrot, celery, cooked sliced sausage, sliced apples or pears.
Rub cut side of garlic on inside of large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add wine and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
In a large bowl, toss cheeses with cornstarch. Add a handful at a time to simmering wine, stirring until first handful melts before adding next. Stir constantly until cheese is completely melted. Heat until mixture comes to a boil, about 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt, & pepper.
Serve with crusty bread and other accompaniments.
Yield: 6 main course servings or 10 appetizer servings