I have always loved fondue. I think because the eating process is so active and you are forced slow down. It encourages conversation and it an intimate experience. I decided to serve a cheese fondue the other night when some friends came over for cocktails. I wish I had counted how many times someone said, “This is so much fun!” It is fun and I am glad I pulled out the fondue pot. If you don’t have one, you can prepare this on the stovetop. Just use low heat for the melting and serve it as soon as possible so it doesn’t become stringy and rubbery. You can use toasted bread cubes, cooked shrimp, baby carrots, broccoli heads or cauliflower florets. If you have any leftover, refrigerate and when gently reheating add a couple of tablespoons of room temperature wine (not cold) to thin it out. 

Cheese Fondue

Yield: 6 servings

1 large garlic clove, peeled and cut in half

1-1/2 cups dry white wine

2 cups shredded Gruyere

2 cups shredded Swiss cheese

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Dash of garlic salt

2 tablespoons Kirsch or brandy

Rub the inside of the fondue pot with the garlic, then discard the garlic. Add the wine and heat to a simmer or until the wine slightly bubbles around the edges, around 4 minutes. Do not boil. Meanwhile, place the Gruyere and Swiss in a mixing bowl and toss with the baking soda and flour. Add the cheese mixture to the fondue pot 1/4 cup at a time. Stir in a figure 8 motion until melted and blended. Repeat until all the cheese mixture is used. Add the cayenne, salt and Kirsch, stirring to blend. Heat for 5 minutes longer and serve immediately.  


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