Fondue, bringing in the new year with some of that oldschool 70’s swank
About 7 months ago my wife and I received a fancy Cuisinart fondue machine that has been collecting dust so this new years we decided that damn it all, we were going to bust this thing out, take it back to the 70’s parties of old, and get down with some Fondue. I tend to go into a Holiday-Haze when the New year rolls around, between all the family gatherings I am contractually obligated to attend, all the cookies and random tidbits being stuffed down my throat, and all the guilt-trip laden “just come over and try this” messages. I can safely say that I am now starting to come out of it, so I thought id kick things off in 2016 talking about an oldie but a goodie…fondue.
Fondue seems like it would be simple. “Get a pot, heat up cheese until it melts, then dip shit in the cheese”. Simple right?
Not so simple, don’t fool yourself and be the guy that spends 30 bucks on fancy cheese just to have it break/separate right in front of your eyes as the people you invited to come over start talking about ordering a pizza while you sit there sadly like this…
It’s not complicated, it just requires using a couple extra ingredients, and knowing why you’re using them helps a ton.
- 1/2 Pound Gruyer Cheese
- 1/2 Pound Emmentaler Cheese
- 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 Cup White Wine
- 2 Cloves Garlic, crushed
This will give you the most basic/standard/classic type of fondue, fondue can be made out of anything so don’t feel constricted, just make sure whatever cheeses you decide on that you add wine/lemon/starch to it. Emmanteler is just a fancy Swiss cheese so if you can’t find any go ahead and use a plain Swiss.
A quick Q&A
Why add wine?
The Tartaric acid in wine helps keep the cheese proteins from clumping.
Why add lemon juice?
The citric acid also helps with keeping the cheese from breaking.
Why add cornstarch?
The cornstarch will help the cheese emulsify with the wine/juice and once again help it along.
So here we go, this isn’t that impressive of a pictorial, its pretty straightforward.
Get your cheese
Shred your cheese, having a stand mixer with the shred attachment makes this take about 60 seconds, otherwise use a grater.
I didn’t snap a pic apparently but next you’ll want to set up your fondue station, pour your wine/juice mixture into the pot and get it hot enough that it lightly boils, add your crushed garlic and let it simmer for a minute or so.
While that is happening you’ll want to take a big ziplock bag, add all your shredded cheese to it, add the tablespoon of cornstarch and shake the shit out of it. Shake it hard until it seems like the starch has evenly coated the cheese.
Turn down the heat here, and pour your cheese/starch mixture into the pot and whisk/stir it so it melts and emulsifies.
If you don’t have a fancy fondue pot that regulates heat but are struggling with keeping the heat low you can try it with a candle/small heat source elevated above the pot or you can use a “pot on top of a pot” double boiler method where you have one pot on the stove heating water, then another pot sitting on top of that pot heating enough to keep cheese melted but not hot enough to cause it to boil and split.
Serve along side some tiny sliced up, lightly toasted, pieces of bread, crackers, whatever you want really.
Either way, that’s what was on tap for this New Years, happy holidays, next time you want to party like a Gatsby, bust out the Fondue.