Classic Cheese Fondue
This traditional Swiss fondue – the sort you might have encountered in an Alpine ski lodge circa 1972 – calls for an equal amount of Gruyère cheese, for its depth of flavor, and Emmenthaler, for its supple texture; a shot of kirsch, for its cherry aroma and alcoholic oomph; and a little garlic, for bite. It takes all of 15 minutes, and will emerge as magnificently creamy, smooth and velvety as custard, but with a funky, deep flavor that dazzlingly enriches anything you dunk in the pot: bread cubes, apple slices, clementine sections, nuggets of salami, pretzels, tofu. It is even marvelous spooned onto a romaine lettuce salad in place of dressing.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 1small garlic clove, halved
- 1cup dry white wine
- ¾pound Gruyère cheese, grated
- ¾pound Emmenthaler, raclette or Appenzeller cheese, grated
- 1 ½tablespoons cornstarch
- 1to 2 tablespoons kirsch (optional)
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste (optional)
- Crusty bread cubes; steamed broccoli or cauliflower; carrot, celery or fennel sticks; cubed apple; seedless grapes; clementine sections; cubed salami, soppressata or kielbasa; roasted chestnuts and/or dried apricots, for serving.
Step 1Rub cut side of garlic on inside of large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed saucepan, preferably cast iron, rubbing the bottom and halfway up the sides. Add wine and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Step 2Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss cheeses with cornstarch. Add a handful at a time to simmering wine, stirring until first handful melts before adding next. Reduce heat to medium and stir constantly until cheese is completely melted. Add kirsch, if using, and heat until bubbling, about 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, if desired. Serve with crusty bread and other accompaniments. (See variations below)