You have choices when it comes to cheese fondue recipes, but opening a can of cheese soup isn't one of them.
From the Classic Cheese Fondue to
the Herb and Cream Cheese recipe to Welsh Rarebit Fondue, it's real cheese, real recipes, real
easy, real fun, and real good.
Pictured: Making cheese fondue at home with Gruyere cheese, freshly grated nutmeg and white wine
Classic Cheese Fondue
Traditionally, fondue is made with a blend of Swiss Emmentaler and Gruyere cheeses.
Emmentaler is very mild and Gruyere, especially well-aged Gruyere, is
very pungent. A half and half mixture is pleasing to most, but feel free
to adjust the proportions to your liking.
2 tablespoons cornstarch or potato flour
1/4 cup kirsch (cherry brandy)
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 cups dry, white wine
12 ounces shredded Emmentaler cheese
12 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Combine the cornstarch and kirsch. Set aside.
Slice the garlic in half lengthwise and rub the cut side over the inside of a medium, heavy saucepan. Discard the garlic. Pour the wine into the saucepan and bring it to a boil over a medium-high heat. Immediately reduce the heat to low. Add the cheese to the wine by handfuls and stir slowly until the cheese is just melted. (Stirring in a figure-8 or zigzag motion prevents the cheese from clumping.)
Stir in the cornstarch mixture, pepper, and nutmeg. Simmer for two or three minutes until it begins to thicken, but do not let it boil. Transfer to a warmed ceramic fondue pot and serve immediately. Keep warm over a very low flame.
This original/traditional cheese fondue recipe is still best served with the original dipper; serve with 2 to 3 loaves of crusty French bread, cut into 1" cubes. Serves 6.
After seasoning the saucepan with garlic, sauté either 2 cloves of garlic or 2 shallots, finely chopped, in 1 tablespoon of butter and proceed with the recipe.
Tip: Purchase a trial-size bottle of kirsch if you feel the remains of a full bottle will just sit on the shelf.
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Crab and Cheddar Cheese Fondue
More than the sum of its' parts, each ingredient in this fondue recipe works with the others for a perfect blend.
20 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese
Scant 3 tablespoons flour
1 cup beer or hard cider
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
8 ounces flaked crabmeat
1 teaspoon caraway seed, lightly toasted
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Shred the cheese and toss together with the flour. Set aside.
Heat the beer or cider, lemon juice, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When hot, reduce heat immediately and slowly stir in cheese mixture until melted. Add the remaining ingredients. Transfer to a warm ceramic fondue pot.
Serve immediately with loaves of crusty, cubed, French bread. Serves 6.
Mexican Cheese Fondue
All the best flavors of Mexican food have crossed over into this cheese fondue recipe. A great idea for dip or dinner.
20 ounces Monterey Jack cheese
Scant 3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 1/4 cups beer
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
6-8 fresh chilies, seeded and minced
1/2 bell pepper, seeded and minced
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Shred the cheese and toss together with the flour, cumin and paprika. Set aside.
Heat the beer over high heat in a medium, heavy saucepan. When very hot, add the lemon juice, chilies, bell pepper, and tomato. Gradually add the cheese mixture, stirring, until it is melted and smooth. Add the salt and transfer to a warm ceramic fondue pot.
Serve with skewered pre-cooked meatballs and tortilla chips or rolled tortillas, which can be dipped by hand. Serves 6.
Three Cheese Fondue
Uh-Oh. Cheese from 3 families makes this cheese fondue recipe a rule-breaker, but the guests don't seem to mind!
1 1/2 lbs. tiny, new potatoes, red or white, or larger ones cut into 1" squares
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the unpeeled potatoes in a large pot with salted water to cover. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cook just until tender, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and coat with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the parsley.
In a medium heavy saucepan, sauté the onions in the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil until tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in the cream, cream cheese, Parmesan and Gruyère cheeses until melted and smooth. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper. Transfer to a warm ceramic fondue pot.
Serve with the new-potato cubes, skewered. Serves 6.Note:
Both the potatoes and the fondue can be prepared a day ahead and warmed before serving.
Herb and Cream Cheese Fondue
A cream cheese fondue recipe is a little out of the ordinary, but gets rave reviews every time.
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped, or 1/2 tablespoon dried
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped, or 1/2 tablespoon dried
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped, or 1/2 tablespoon dried
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 to 1 1/2 cups light cream
In a large, heavy, non-stick skillet, sauté the garlic in the olive oil, just until tender. Add the cream cheese, and continue cooking on low heat, stirring, until the cheese is smooth and melted. Gradually stir in the cream, a little at a time, until the mixture reaches the right consistency for dipping. (It thickens as it cools.) Add the parsley, oregano and basil, and continue cooking for two or three minutes to let the herb flavors blend. Transfer to a warm ceramic fondue pot.
Serve with cooked, shelled shrimp (prawns) and/or scallops, tortellini and crusty French bread, cubed.
Note: A cream cheese fondue recipe can be made a day ahead
and refrigerated, but you will need to add more cream before serving;
it invariably thickens when chilled. Shrimp and scallops cook quickly
and dry easily when overcooked, however, so it's best to prepare them
shortly before serving this fondue recipe. Serves 6.
Brie and Blue Cheese Fondue
Wild mushrooms give this cheese fondue recipe extraordinary taste.
1 pound chilled Brie cheese
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or 3 tablespoons butter
8 ounces shitake mushrooms, stemmed and finely chopped
2 shallots, minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped, or ½ teaspoon dried
1 1/4 cups dry white wine
3 ounces chilled Blue cheese
2 tablespoons cornstarch or flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Trim the rind from the Brie, discarding the rind. Cut the cheese into small pieces, place them in a large bowl and set aside in the refrigerator.
Heat the oil or butter in a large heavy saucepan; sauté the mushrooms and shallots over medium heat until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the thyme and the wine to the mushrooms and simmer. Meanwhile, remove the bowl of Brie from the refrigerator and toss with the cornstarch or flour. Crumble the Blue cheese into the bowl and toss. Gradually add the cheese to the pot, stirring, until it is melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper (heavy on the pepper is good). Transfer to a warm ceramic fondue pot.
Serve with crusty French bread, cubed, cooked chicken cut into
bite-size pieces, and your choices of blanched or raw vegetables such as
asparagus, cauliflower, zucchini, and small boiled new potatoes. Serves
Welsh Rarebit Fondue
A timeless cheese fondue recipe that says yes-yes to some no-no foods. Worth it.
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons bacon grease (optional)
3/4 cup beer or ale
20 ounces extra sharp Cheddar or Lancashire, shredded
Salt and white pepper to taste
Heat butter, bacon grease and beer or ale over medium heat until bubbles appear. Reduce heat slightly and stir in the cheese until just melted. Add salt and pepper. Transfer to a warmed ceramic fondue pot.
Serve with toasted bread slices that have been cut into 4 triangles for hand-dipping. Serves 6.