Cheese Fondue

From Cook's Country | December/January 2012
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Why this recipe works:

We wanted a foolproof, indestructible fondue that was not only easy and delicious but able to withstand cooling and reheating without breaking in lieu of a fondue pot. We tested and debunked many fondue myths. In the end, we found it essential to use good-quality cheese (deli Swiss turned… read more

We wanted a foolproof, indestructible fondue that was not only easy and delicious but able to withstand cooling and reheating without breaking in lieu of a fondue pot. We tested and debunked many fondue myths. In the end, we found it essential to use good-quality cheese (deli Swiss turned stringy and rubbery) and to coat it with cornstarch to prevent it from breaking. We flavored the wine base with garlic and brought it as close to a boil as possible before adding the cheese to ensure adequate melting. Finally, to activate the cornstarch, we brought the fondue to a quick simmer.

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Serves 4 as a main dish or 8 as an appetizer

Don’t substitute deli Swiss cheese for the Emmentaler—it will make the fondue stringy. Do use a crisp, un-oaked wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc. Try dipping steamed broccoli and cauliflower florets, apple slices, and chunks of cured meats.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces Emmentaler cheese, shredded (2 cups), room temperature
  • 8 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded (2 cups), room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (12-inch) baguette, cut into 1-inch pieces

Instructions

  1. 1. Toss Emmentaler, Gruyère, cornstarch, and nutmeg together in bowl until well combined. Bring wine and garlic to boil in medium saucepan over high heat; discard garlic.

    2. Reduce heat to medium-low and slowly whisk in cheese mixture 1 handful at a time. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is smooth and begins to bubble, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in pepper. Serve with bread.

Reheating Fondue

Even our foolproof fondue eventually cools down and firms up. We tested dozens of ways to keep it warm and reheat it and found this method works best: Fill a microwaveable bowl one-third full of boiling water, then nest a slightly smaller microwaveable bowl inside it. Pour the fondue into the smaller bowl and serve. To reheat, microwave the double-bowl setup for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring halfway.

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