Oh dear oh dear, it has been a month since I last posted. It’s really hard to find time blogging or visiting my favorite blogs.
Anyway, last Monday I was able to have a free evening to celebrate my dear friend’s birthday. I mean going out without Marc. That was my first night out since he was born. My hubby was kind enough to take care him, so I was set free for one evening. That night my friend Nils made fondue, it’s his signature dish. Last year I had it once and was so impressed, so happy that he was willing to share the tips to me. His wife Carmen, told me that a lot of friends claimed that he could make the best fondue and after having a chance to sample myself, I totally agreed, thumbs up!!!
It does not seem to be difficult to make a fondue when I read the instructions or recipes but two years ago, I attempted to make one and was not so successful, the main problem was that I could not get the cheese mixture homogenized but got two layers, the wine and cheese were separated. And thanks to Nils for the great tips, I can master how to make a great fondue.
Last Monday, he made a special one for us with the addition of mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and herbs. I made it last night at home and my hubby enjoyed it completely. Apparently, in Graubrunden, it is very common that the locals would put in all kinds of things into their fondue which suits my taste. So you can be as creative as you like after you have mastered the techniques.
- heatproof clay fondue pot or heavy saucepan
- long fondue forks
- round plates
- alcohol lamp
- 600g shredded cheese (e.g. 1/2 Gruyere & 1/2 Emmentaler or ask the fromagerie for ready prepared fondue cheese mix)- usually 200g cheese per person
- 3 garlic cloves, 1 cut into half, 2 cut into thin slices
- 300ml dry white wine
- 3 tsp cornstarch
- 30ml kirsch
- pinches ground black pepper
- pinches nutmeg
- 150g mushrooms, cut into quarters
- a handful of cherry tomatoes (about 10 pieces), cut into halves
- a handful fresh basil leaves, cut into thin pieces
- 1 tsp fresh thyme (optional)
- a loaf of 500g Crusty bread, cut into bite-sized pieces
- a broccoli, cut into pieces and boiled
- Rub the fondue pot with a split garlic clove. Then put the cheese into the pot and pour in the wine, stir to mix the wine and cheese. Layer the mushrooms, tomatoes, herbs and garlic pieces on top. Cover with a plate and let it marinate for 30 mins.
- Using a small glass dissolve the cornstarch in the kirsch and put aside.
- Place the fondue pot on the stove at medium heat, keep stiring briskly and vigourously in a figure of ’8′ until the cheese is melted.
- Pour in the cornstarch and kirsch mixture and continue to stir and cook at low heat until it begins to boil and a homogenized mixture is resulted.
- Season with ground black pepper and/ or nutmeg as desired.
- This is now ready to serve. Place on your dining table above an alcohol lamp, continue to cook at low heat while serving.
- Stir continuously with bite-sized pieces of bread speared on a fondue fork.
- Serve on sides with pickled cucumber and/or onion, you can even cut some fruit cubes such as pears!
- You can also add an egg into the fondue towards the end (about 10% cheese is left), mix with the cheese and finish the fondue off.
En Guete! Enjoy!
For those who find eating fondue is too heavy, you can also prepare some boiled broccoli or cauliflower to go with rather than just eat with bread. I have also learnt that you can dip the bread in kirsch before dipping into the cheese, this was said to make it more easily digestible.
It is more difficult to dine out these days with the little one, therefore being able to make a nice fondue is definitely a must for the coming winters for us.