Fondue is a wonderful way to entertain with little cook and a lot of room for flavor with cheese and dipping options.
By Kara & Marni Powders
We love to use the opportunity to gather a group of friends for an informal fondue party. Our family has been doing this for years. Whether it be a ski getaway or a random snowed in evening, we enjoy experimenting with fondue combinations. Sometimes we opt for classic cheese, hot oils steaming with meats and vegetables, a cascading chocolate caldron, or all three. It’s a fun, interactive way to dip and nosh with little cooking required. For the ultimate pool of gooey, drippy cheese, it’s always key to keep in mind a couple tips. The best flavor is usually achieved by blending two types of cheeses. I love the blend of Jarlsberg and Fontina, but by all means incorporate a Swiss or Gruyere instead. Also, always rub the interior of your ceramic fondue pot with garlic. It adds a nice punch and pleasant aroma to the velvety, melty goodness. Have fun with accompaniments! On a whim, I wrapped baguettes with thin slices of salami before dipping into the rich cheesy liquid which offered a bite full of different flavors and textures.
- Cubed baguette wrapped with thin slices of Salami
- Parboiled and halved fingerling potatoes
- Blanched broccoli
- Blanched cauliflower
- Cubed Gala apples
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- ½ lb Jarlsberg cheese, grated
- ½ lb Fontina cheese, grated
- 2 T flour
- 1 c dry white wine (whatever you’re drinking)
- 1 T fresh lemon juice
- 1 T cherry brandy (I use kirsch)
- ½ t nutmeg
- 1 t salt
- ½ t white pepper
- Prepare your accompaniments.
- Rub the inside of the ceramic fondue pot with the garlic clove.
- In a small bowl, toss the cheeses with flour.
- Over medium heat, add the wine and lemon juice to a small pot and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Gradually stir in the flour-coated cheese with a wooden spoon. Turn the heat to low and melt the cheese gradually, stirring constantly, until smooth. Do not let the cheese boil.
- Once smooth, stir in cherry brandy, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Pour into the fondue pot with a lit sterno candle underneath and serve immediately.
Kara and Marni Powers are twin sister cooks, dining and blogging their way through Boston's North End and beyond. They see the act of cooking and entertaining as a form of creative expression, an art that encourages the mixing of flavors, spices, techniques and stories. Their interest in cooking dates back to their Greek grandmother’s open-arms approach, letting them taste her savory creations like her famous spanakopita. Kara and Marni's fascination with food and culture continued during their travels abroad in Europe where they saw firsthand the limitlessness of cooking.