The Cooking Chronicles: Cheese Fondue

After our successful experiment with chocolate fondue earlier in the year, Annie, May, Janice and I met up again to try our hand with the warm-weather appropriate cheese fondue.

Janice hosted the event this time around, searched out a recipe, and did most of the heavy-lifting with ingredients, roasting a number of vegetables which were ready by the time the rest of us showed up. We did all contribute in one way or another though, either bringing wine, the cheese, or additional ingredients to be dipped, so it felt like a team effort in many ways.

Once everyone had arrived, we got started melting the grated Swiss gruyere into the simmering white wine. The mixture thickened nicely once all of the cheese had been added, and we transferred them into two small fondue pots placed at both ends of the table. The spread included the requisite vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, zucchini and mushrooms, among others), bread, garlic sausage, nacho chips (for “gourmet” nachos), and fruit for dessert.

 Annie uncorking the wine

Janice at the stove

The spread

We found rather quickly that the nearly two cups of wine the recipe called to was way too much – the fondue mixture reeked of wine, so much so that the flavour overpowered anything we dipped. Still, fondue was a great way to catch up with everyone, as we casually worked our way through the food on the table. The roasted potatoes and garlic sausage ended up being my favourite things to dip.

At the table

Me and May

It was great that all of the vegetables had been either blanched or roasted, as it allowed us to enjoy them without cheese adornment as well (“raw” would have been fine, but as with most vegetables, they taste better roasted).

 Janice shows what is left of the cheese

Thanks again Janice for hosting! Cheese fondue is a great winter treat, though next time, we will be definitely be mindful of the amount of alcohol we should be adding.

6 thoughts on “The Cooking Chronicles: Cheese Fondue

  1. Doesn’t cheese fondue have a high alcohol content (which is supposed to cook off) to help the cheese melt and add acidity to keep it fluid and avoid curdling/stringy bits? I think the liquor is also part of it’s charm as an après-ski treat. 🙂

    You might try beer or kirsch next time for a different taste; more subtle anyhow. I prefer the richness of kirsh over a wine fondue.

  2. My family does a cheese fondue every Christmas Eve and we use the exact same recipe that you used. Last year my fondue was really wine-y (just like what you described). This year I let the wine simmer for several minutes to get rid of some of the flavour of the alcohol. It was perfect!

  3. More than anything, we probably just can’t handle the alcohol, heh.

    The recipe did list an optional dash of kirsh; perhaps we’ll have to try it next time – it just didn’t seem worth it to purchase a bottle for a small addition in this recipe.

  4. Though I’m a huge 101 cookbooks fan, never having made fondue before and knowing Jamie never lets me down, I used his recipe for my NYE potluck and it was really, really tasty:

    http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/cheese-recipes/easy-cheese-fondue

    It calls for cider instead of wine for alcohol, which is much milder than the wine. It did separate a little bit, but I just added a bit of cream to bring it back together, which worked like a charm.

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