Back in the 1970’s fondue was all the rage, with bubbling fondue pots being the star at many a chic get-together around the country. While no longer the fad du jour it used to be, I happen to think that an old-fashioned, cozy fondue party is a fabulous way to gather with friends in the middle of a long, cold winter!
My fondue is simple to make; you don’t need any special equipment- just a heavy-bottomed, heat-proof pan that you can set over a small candle or a sterno can. Fondue is traditionally served with a crusty bread, but I also love to pair it with a medley of perfectly roasted potatoes. Did you also know that you can prepare fondue in advance? You can store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to three days and reheat in a pan with a few splashes of white wine or heavy cream just before serving. This dish is comfort food and a soirée starter all in one. Add a bottle (or two) of a bold red wine, a big green salad with my French Bistro Vinaigrette, really fun friends and you’re all set!
Ingredients (serves 6)
Gruyere – 14 ounces, freshly grated
Fontina – 3 ounces – freshly grated
Flour – 2 tablespoons, all-purpose
Butter – 2 tablespoons, unsalted
Shallots – ¾ cup, ¼” diced
Thyme – 1 teaspoon, finely minced, fresh
Garlic – 4 cloves, thinly sliced
Nutmeg – ⅛ teaspoon, freshly grated
Sea Salt – ¾ teaspoon
Black Pepper – 1 teaspoon, freshly cracked
White Wine – 1 ½ cups, Chardonnay recommended
In a large bowl, combine both cheeses and the flour and toss to coat. Set aside.
Next, in a medium heavy-bottomed pot set over medium heat, add the butter. Once hot add the shallots and thyme and cook for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally until the shallots are translucent. Add the garlic, nutmeg, salt, and pepper, and cook for 60 seconds, being careful not to burn the garlic.
Pour in the wine and allow it to come to a boil.
Finally, add the cheese mixture in small handfuls and whisk briskly until smooth before adding in more cheese. Repeat this step until all of the cheese has been added.
Transfer the fondue to a heat-proof pan set over a candle or sterno can to keep warm and serve immediately. If the fondue gets a little thick as it sits, add a splash of wine.
A Few Tips to Keep in Mind
Make sure to measure the cheese after cutting away the rind for the most accurate measurement.
I like to garnish the fondue with a sprig of fresh thyme and a few of the leaves for a simple, but beautiful presentation.