Bastille Day is the French version of the Fourth of July, and this fun and easy rendition of cheese fondue is very flexible. The method is nearly foolproof and you can mix and match cheeses to find a flavor profile that suits your palate. It’s like a winemaker creating a Bordeaux style blend! The classic version of Fondue is typically made with Swiss and Emmentaler, but you can use just about any medium to soft cheese in this method.
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 cup white wine
1 cup cream (or substitute Faux “Cream”)
2 pounds of your favorite cheeses:
- A medium-soft goat
- A nice crumbling blue
- A medium-hard swiss style (cow or goat)
- A soft ripened cheese (brie style)
4 tablespoons cornstarch
2 ounces Madiera or sherry wine
1 loaf of market fresh crusty bread, cut into cubes
2 pounds assorted firm market fruits and veggies like:
- Broccoli or cauliflower florets
- Baby carrots, peeled
- Snap peas, snow peas
- Apples, sliced
- Pears, sliced
- Dried apricots
- Firm tomatoes, cut in wedges, or cherry tomatoes
- Cooked baby potatoes
Rub a heavy-bottomed saucepan or stockpot with the garlic clove, and save it for another use. Add wine to the pot and bring to a boil, then whisk in the cream.
Crumble or grate all the cheeses and mix together with the cornstarch, making sure to evenly coat all the cheese. Wearing disposable gloves and working with your hands is the best way.
When the cream is about to simmer, begin to stir in the cheese a handful at a time and stir until it melts until all the cheese is melted and comes to a simmer. Stir constantly in a zig zag motion to avoid clumping and sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Stir in the sherry or Madiera, and adjust consistency with cream if it is too thick. Pour the fondue into a fondue pot and place in the center of the table.
Arrange a platter of veggies and fruits to spread around the table, or let guests choose what they want. I prefer to grill the bread and rub it with the leftover garlic clove, but crusty warm bread cut into cubes is the classic version. Using long toothpicks or wooden skewers, guests dip the bread and veggies into the fondue- no double dipping please!!!
YIELD: 8 servings
SOURCE: Chef Jamie Smith