I hope you enjoy the food!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Cheese Fondue

Is it just me, or does there seem to be a bit of a retro thing happening with food lately?

First it was MasterChef where the challenge was "that 70's iconic Dinner Party dish" Beef Stroganoff, and now I see recipes for Fondue slipping back into the recipe books. Even the classic Prawn Cocktail has been given a makeover and is back in vogue again!!  My friend on the bike next to me at the gym on Friday was making a Fondue this weekend as well!!   Yes, it seems everything old is new again.

The Fondue started appearing in Switzerland during the 1950's.  Apparently a slowing cheese industry  discovered that if they promoted this warming, melted cheese dish - they could sell more cheese!  A person could easily eat half a pound of melted cheese in one sitting this way!!!  (Who said the Swiss weren't clever?)   Travelling Americans then brought the concept back to the States, and it slowly wormed it's way onto the dinner tables of many during the 60's.

So last night,  with nary a DeLorean in sight, and armed only with long handled forks - we headed "Back to the Future" to revisit the classic Cheese Fondue.  I was prepared for a rocky trip - the M.O.T.H. had already told me that "he didn't like fondues back then" - but I was undeterred.  You see I had won a fondue pot recently, and it just seemd rude to me not to use it!!

Swiss Cheese Fondue

Serves 8 (then why do they only give you 6 forks??)

1 clove of garlic
1/4 cup brandy
1 1/2 tbs cornflour
1 1/2 cups fruity wine (such as riesling)
1 tbs lemon juice
740g Swiss cheese, grated


Small steamed baby potatoes, halved or quartered
thin salami pieces
thin prosciutto slices
slices of cooked chorizo sausage
Cornichons (small baby pickles)
cubes of bread

Cut the garlic clove and rub the cut side around the base and sides of the fondue pot.

Place the brandy and cornflour in a bowl and stir until combined.  Combine the wine and lemon juice in a heavy based saucepan over medium high heat.  Bring to a simmer.  Add the cornflour and brandy mixture, and cook stirring until the mixture has boiled and thickened.

Reduce the heat.  Add a handful of the grated cheese and stir until combined.  Repeat until all the cheese has been added and the cheese has all melted and the mixture is smooth.

Heat the fondue pot over a low flame.  Spoon in the cheese mixture.  Serve with the accompaniments.

Now here is where the fondue ettiquette comes in.  It is a no-no to allow one's tongue or lips to touch the dipping fork.  No "double"dipping is allowed - (perhaps there should have been a Seinfled episode about it!!)  In Swiss tradition, if a chunk of bread is lost in the cheese by a man, he has to buy a bottle of wine - but if the same thing happens to a woman, she has to kiss the man on her left!!  What happens when "The Darlings" drop theirs???  I say they have to do the dishes!!!

So what was the verdict?  The "nuttiness" of the swiss cheese turned The Darlings' noses skyward - (perhaps Cheddar next time?) and well, The M.O.T.H. still doesn't like them, but that doesn't deter me - there is still the Chocolate Fondue to make!!!

So what to do with the leftovers?  Well today for my lunch I bought a gourmet pumpkin seed roll and some shaved turkey, and made a new version of Turkey, Swiss and Avocado on a roll.  I spread the cheese mixture on one side of the roll, some avocado on the other - in with the shaved turkey, salt and pepper and a great sandwich!!

A very loyal Dear Reader has sent out the gauntlet to me!  I have been sent a recipe for home made pasta.  Now the premise of this blog is that I must cook the recipe myself before I can share it - so I guess that means I have to attempt home made pasta now does it??  Or perhaps we may have to get into "duelling blog sites"?  Stayed tuned!

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