Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Swiss Cheese Fondue

I said in an earlier post that I would give the recipe/instructions for a Swiss fondue. Here it is.

Swiss fondue uses 2 wonderful Swiss cheeses, Gruyere and Emmental.  The classic blend of garlic, wine and cheese is a staple in the Swiss home. In fact they have a saying - "The week is lost without fondue". It sounds better in French -- "Semaine perdue, sans fondue". It is important to have very dry wine.  Also, cheese will separate when melted if you do not put a binding ingredient, such as flour or corn starch. The bread should be very fresh, and plan on about 1/3 to 1/2 loaf per person.

There are other cheeses which make great fondue, but not every cheese is suitable. The best cheeses to use are firm. Cheddar cheese makes a great fondue, but it a totally different experience than the Swiss fondue.

What you need - about 200 grams of cheese per person, it can be a blend of Gruyere and Emmental, or the cheese sold in grocery stores which is labelled Swiss cheese; a bottle (or more) of good, very dry white wine; 2 cloves of garlic; 2 Tbs of flour or cornstarch, 1 Tbs Kisrch, (optional); 1  loaf (or more, depending on how many people you are feeding) of french bread, cut into 1 inch cubes.

Grate all the cheese into a large bowl. Add the flour or cornstarch, and stir to evenly coat all the pieces with the flour. Peel and cut the cloves of garlic in two. Take a heavy saucepan, and rub garlic over all the bottom and sides. Then put garlic through a press. Pour about 1 cup of wine into the prepared pot, and add garlic. Heat over medium high, until wine begins to come to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and, stirring contantly, begin to add cheese in small amounts. Stir until it is completely melted before adding the next amount. Continue adding small amounts until all the cheese is melted. Add extra wine if needed to maintain a good consistancy. If you are serving children, some of the additional wine can be replaced with grape or apple juice, to sweeten the fondue a little. When the fondue looks ready, add the Kirsch, if using.
As an option, you can blanche some broccoli, and cauliflower, and dip those into the cheese.
Set the hot cheese on the tabletop burner, and set it to low heat. Each person dips bread into the melted cheese. This can be served with a green salad, and wine to drink. As always, enjoy.

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