Friday, December 2, 2011

Cheese Fondue

I love cheese. Other than its unfortunate caloric count, I think that it is one of the best foods ever. Cheese has the amazing ability to pair with pretty much any other food. Seriously, what other food can you pair with sweet, salty, spicy, or savory dishes? What other food is a part every course from appetizer to dessert? It's good hot, cold, room temperature! It's a miracle food!

Ok, so enough about my love affair with cheese. Have you ever been to the Melting Pot? It's a fondue restaurant where you will spend a somewhat absurd amount of money to cook your own food at your table. I mean, I guess they buy the food and prep it and clean it up which is totally worth something.... Anyways... I've been there probably eight times which is more than I've been to pretty much any other restaurant of any substantial cost. It's because I love fondue! Now making an oil fondue at home is sort of difficult if you don't have the correct fondue pot etc. and a chocolate fondue isn't a very good snack (melted chocolate is good for few bites but not snackday). So I chose to make a cheese fondue this week because 1. Cheese is delicious and 2. you can make it with kitchen items I already own.

Cheese Fondue

8oz baby swiss cheese
4oz gruyere cheese
2oz sharp cheddar cheese (get this from the nice cheese section of your grocery store. Standard American cheddar cheese = fail)
1 1/2 Cup white wine (use what you've got)
2 T all purpose flour
1 t garlic powder (or one clove garlic minced)
1 t mustard powder
pinch cayenne pepper
1 t lemon juice (I actually used lime because I didn't have any lemon... make it work)

assorted vegetables, fruit, bread etc. for dipping (I used celery, carrots, cauliflower, granny smith apples, and rye bread)
assorted dippables!


Cut up all of your cheese into about 1/4 inch cubes. Alternately, you can shred the cheese but I find that cubing it is faster because my grater is kind of shitty. Toss the cheese with the flour, cayenne, garlic powder, and mustard powder in a bowl.

"Preheat" an empty slow cooker on high (if you have a traditional fondue pot, you can use this--I don't have one, so I'm going to serve my fondue in a slow cooker to keep it hot as it is eaten. If you don't have a slow cooker or a fondue pot then you should probably stop thinking you're going to have fondue and start preparing to turn your cheese into a delicious mac n cheese).

On your stove top, heat your wine in heavy bottom pot on medium heat until it begins to bubble. Turn heat to medium low. Begin stirring in the cheese mixture a little bit at a time, adding more as the cheese incorporates into the liquid. After all cheese has been added, add lemon juice.

Pour your cheese mixture into your preheated slow cooker or fondue. Let it sit on high heat for half an hour.Turn temperature to warm and serve (keep it plugged in at the table with an extension cord). I don't have fondue forks, so I used long skewers as my dipping implement. Forks would also work.
melty :)

This was delicious. If you have it sitting out for a while, you may want to turn the slow cooker up to high occasionally and keep the lid on to make sure it stays hot and melty

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