Sourdough overload? Bust out the fondue pot!
Wondering what to do with all that sourdough? Blow the dust off mom’s fondue pot, and open up the fridge! This quick (and delicious) cheese fondue recipe is the answer to your prayers
Cheese fondue is a simple classic comfort food that’s fun to eat, and always a delightful surprise for anyone invited to dinner. This recipe will feed 4-6 people and takes about 30 minutes to prep and cook.
When starting a cheese fondue, check the refrigerator. Likely, you have a lot of the ingredients already, and if you don’t, cheese fondue is fairly forgiving, not to mention a good opportunity to experiment while cleaning out the dairy drawer.
The balance of the cheese is important though. Also the quality of cheese. Obviously, the better the cheese, the better the fondue.
For this recipe we need 4 cups (or 1 pound) of shredded cheese.
Ideally, we want an equal parts mix of three types of cheese – an alpine cheese, a soft melting cheese, and another variety of cheese for flavour.
Here are a few suggestions for pairing cheeses:
Alpine – Swiss, Gruyere, Beaufort
Soft – Fontina, Provolone, Mozzarella
Flavourful – Gouda, Reblochon, Monterey Jack, Cheddar
If you need to shift the balance a tad to get to 4 cups of shredded cheese, feel free to cheat a bit. And don’t laugh at the Laughing Cow, a couple of triangles do very well in a pinch, as does a wallop of cream cheese.
Use blue cheese very sparingly, the flavour will overwhelm the other cheeses, or don’t use it at all, unless that is the flavour you want for your fondue.
Finding bite-sized dippables for a cheese fondue is easier than you think, here are some suggestions to pull out of the fridge and try:
Veggies – grape tomatoes, mushrooms, boiled or fried potatoes, french fries, steamed broccoli, cauliflower, or asparagus, and pickles
Fruit – grapes, cubed apple, or pineapple pieces
Meats – cooked sausage, meatballs, bacon, or ham
Bread – cubed sourdough, french, or pumpernickel, and pretzels
These are the ingredients for the cheese fondue:
• 4 cups (one pound) of equal parts mixed shredded cheese,
for example: Swiss, Provolone, and Gouda
• 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
• 1 cup dry white wine
• 1 tablespoon of brandy/whiskey
• 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
• 1 clove of minced garlic
• 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
Are you missing anything? Here are a few suggestions for substitutions:
The wine is required for acid, it helps to break up the cheese so it won’t be stringy. A cup of beer gives this recipe a different flavour, try it instead of wine if you are a craft beer-lover. For a non-alcoholic version of this recipe, eliminate the wine and add an additional tablespoon of lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of milk.
As you are perusing the liquor cabinet, consider the following – you only need a tablespoon, so get out the good stuff! Try St. Remy, 40 Creek, Crown Royal, or Gibson’s. Pick something nice. Don’t want to add brandy? Try maple syrup instead, or a dash of your favourite bitters.
If there are kids at the table, try a heat-free pot, or a pot with a tea light candle for heat, and finger foods for dipping, like celery sticks, toast sticks, tortilla chips, and hot dogs.
To start, grate your cheeses, and follow these instructions:
1) In a bowl, toss and coat the shredded cheese with cornstarch.
2) On the stove in a medium-sized saucepan, bring the wine, brandy, lemon juice, dijon, garlic, and nutmeg to a simmer over a medium low heat.
3) Slowly add shredded cheese while stirring, allowing the cheese to melt between adding handfuls. Constant stirring during this process ensures a smooth cheese fondue. Do not let it boil.
4) Arrange the table with your bite-size dipping foods and carefully pour the fondue into the fondue pot. Serve with fondue forks, skewers, or regular forks. Call everyone to their seats, and enjoy!
Please note: If your fondue starts to get thick while you are eating, stir in more wine to thin the fondue. To reheat leftovers, use a double boiler, and thin if required.