Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Fond of Fondue

Christmas time just isn't Christmas time without a fondue night with my family. We have been doing this for years but had no idea that we were preparing ourselves for the addition of our real Swiss Knight- Rhys.

It was always the standard, overly alcohol- scented Swiss Knight that we used until recently. I was inspired by my sister and brother-in-law's tales of "real fondue" in the Swiss Alps.

Kim says Rhys' Swiss uncles are the definitive sources on fondue and they state that nutmeg must be freshly grated but I cheated on this one with good quality, organic ground nutmeg. Rhys assures me that this combination of cheeses makes it authentic so that is good enough for me. Apparently you are also required to stir in a figure 8 or zig zag pattern to keep it from burning and to help the cheese emulsify.

I am also told that the Swiss are strict on fondue being only served with crusty bread and white wine. If I were you, I wouldn't mess with the Swiss.

Swiss Fondue
Serves 6 hungry people

1 clove garlic
1 1/2 cups white wine (we used Gewurztraminer and it was delicious!)
2 tbsp cornstarch
450 g package Emmentaler cheese, grated
450 g package Gruyere cheese, grated
a large dash of nutmeg
* a couple tsp of Kirsch is also standard but we left it out and it was fine.

1. Rub warmed electric fondue pot (or heavy bottomed pot, to be added to ceramic fondue pot after cooking) all over with garlic clove.
2. Pour 1 cup of wine into fondue pot and heat.
3. Mix 1/2 cup wine with cornstarch until smooth.
4. Add grated cheeses to warmed wine and stir in a figure 8 or zig zag pattern until smooth.
5. Add cornstarch and wine mixture and nutmeg and cook for a few more minutes.
6. Serve with cubed crusty bread (day- old is really good!)