Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cheese Fondue Recipe

Cheese Fondue Recipe
Recipe by: Chef Cristian Feher

Fondue is a great method of cooking. Especially if you're goal is to entertain your guests! There are several ways to make fondue, and there are many different ingredients that one could use. I will be giving you a basic recipe utilizing Colby jack cheese and dark beer. However, you can experiment with MANY different cheeses, and many different bases (wine, beer, stock, etc). It's important to note that different cheeses will give you different tastes and textures. Some may even split, ball-up, or become really stringy.

To fix a fondue that is too stringy, you can add a few squirts of lemon or lime. Although this may not fix the stringiness altogether, it may cut it down somewhat. If your cheese splits or balls up (there is liquid and cheese separately) you can sprinkle some corn starch a little at a time while mixing, until your mixture comes together again. I actually make a habit of coating the cheese in a bit of corn starch before starting the cooking process.

You can use the traditional "fondue pot" that most people get as a wedding gift, or passed down from a relative. But I make it on the stove when I feel like a quick fondue. As long as you keep the heat low, you'll be fine.

There are some Swiss traditions in "fondueing" that I would like to pass onto you: 1) Traditionally, you would use day-old, slightly stale bread (trust me, it works out great!). 2) If you drop your bread into the cheese everyone must take a drink. And 3) If you double-dip and get caught, you must buy everyone a round of drinks.

I hope you have as much fun as I've had when experimenting with all the different types of cheeses. Treat fondue as an adventure, and you will never be disappointed.

Yields: Fondue for 4-8 people

- 1 - 2 Cups of White Wine or Beer of Choice
- 5 - 8 Cups of Cheese of Choice
- 1 Tbsp of Dijon Mustard
- 1 Clove of Garlic
- Cubed Bread of Choice
- (optional) Fruit or Berries
- (optional) Corn Starch
- (optional) Lime or Lemon


1. Prepare and set aside the following ingredients:
- Peeled and halved garlic clove
- Wine or Beer
- Cubed or Shredded Cheese
- Cube and skewer the bread, and/or fruit

2. Bring the pot to low heat on the stove top (or follow the instructions on your fondue pot). Once pot is hot, rub the inside of the pot with the halved garlic clove (this is called "seasoning" the pot). The purpose of this is to make a base of garlic particles on the bottom of the pot. This will flavour your pot and will help to keep the cheese from sticking to the bottom. Discard the clove after you're done rubbing the pot.

3. Add the liquid and bring to a low simmer. This should happen momentarily.

4. Start adding the cheese one cup at a time and stir with a wooden spoon as it melts. If the cheese splits or balls up, read the notes at the beginning of this recipe to fix it. Do not bring the cheese to a boil. Keep the temperature so that the cheese is melting, but not boiling.

5. Once all the cheese is melted you can stir in the mustard.

6. If your mixture is too thick, just add more of the liquid, and if it's too thin, you can add more cheese. Make sure to have extra of both just in case. Note that as the fondue renders down over time, the flavours will become bolder and richer!

7. Bring your guests into your kitchen and have fun dipping the bread into the cheese with the long skewers!

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