Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Cheese Fondue

When this challenge was posted, my husband and I started talking about what "retro" recipes meant to each of us. For me, I think of Jello salads, bologna, and other American dishes that I am happy to never encounter again. For him, it's all about the classics...sauces, pâté, stuffed meats and veggies, and delectable desserts.

Francoise Bernard is a classic French cookbook author that my husband's Mamie would cook from all the time. We have her oldest copy of Les Recettes Faciles (Easy Recipes) from 1965 that is packed with his Mamie's newspaper and magazine clippings. I pulled this book from our shelf and flipped through it to see what classical French fare was. This book is filled with drool worthy recipes. Although, I did not choose a recipe from this book, it did give me an idea of what to make. Cheese fondue. My husband has perfected his recipe through the years and we always look forward to the weather getting cooler so he can make it. This is a recipe that he typically eyeballs amounts, which means that it turns out a little differently each time, but this time I followed him around for measurements!

Cheese Fondue
by Franck and Tonda
Serves 6

1 pound 12 month aged Gruyere cheese
1 pound Jarlsberg cheese
1 pound Comté cheese
6 cloves garlic
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 to 3/4 bottle dry white wine such as Apremont from Savoie or Entre Deux Mers (Dry White Bordeaux)
1 1/2 Tablespoons Kirsh
Dash of paprika
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Juice from 1/8 of a large lemon

Cut the cheese into 1/4 to 1/2-inch cubes. Do not shred the cheese. It will turn into a ball when melting it. Cut one clove of garlic in half and rub it on the inside of the cooking pot and fondue pot. Slice one clove of garlic in very thin and place it into the fondue pot. Melt 2 Tablespoons of butter, add four cloves of chopped garlic and sauté. Remove half of the garlic and add approximately 1/4 cup of wine to deglaze the pot. Add about 4 handfuls of cheese. It is important to stir the cheese in an 8 pattern until it melts. Otherwise, it will turn into a big ball in the pan. Alternate adding more wine (approximately 1/4 to 1/2 cup at a time) and cheese (3 to 4 handfuls) and continue until all of the cheese is melted to the consistency that you prefer. Make sure to continuously stir in the 8 pattern. You will use 1/2 to 3/4 bottle of wine. Add 1 1/2 Tablespoons Kirsh and a dash of paprika and stir. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon white pepper along with 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg. Finally, stir in the juice from 1/8 of a large lemon. Transfer to the fondue pot.

Enjoy with cubes of baguette. An old French rule is whomever loses their baguette while dipping in the caquelon of cheese has to run around the block naked! Thankfully, it has not been enforced in my years of enjoying this meal.