The cold weather makes me want to stay warm inside, in a sparkleatmosphere, with wine and fondue.
Classic cheese fondue from Williams-Sonoma
Legend has it that fondue was created centuries ago in Switzerland by an inventive alpine herdsman. Bored with his nightly dinner, he heated wine and cheese together in a pot, then scooped out the delicious mixture with chunks of crusty bread. Taking its name from fondre, French for "to melt," fondue has become favorite fireside fare in ski lodges and chalets. A natural for casual winter entertaining, this convivial style of tabletop cooking is best enjoyed with fine wines and good conversation.
1-lb. loaf French bread, cut into cubes
1 garlic clove, halved
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
10 oz. Emmentaler cheese, grated
10 oz. Gruyère cheese, grated
1 Tbs. kirsch
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of freshly ground pepper
Pinch of paprika
Salt, to taste
Preheat an oven to 350°F.
Arrange the bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside.
Rub the inside of a heavy 2-quart saucepan with the cut sides of the garlic halves; discard the garlic. Set the pan over medium-low heat and melt the butter. Add the flour and dry mustard and whisk until blended. Whisk in the wine and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and add the cheeses in small handfuls, stirring until creamy and smooth, about 4 minutes. Stir in the kirsch, nutmeg, pepper, paprika and salt.
Assemble the fondue pot, add the cheese fondue to the pot and keep warm according to the manufacturer's instructions. Serve with the toasted bread cubes and individually marked fondue forks for dipping. Serves 4 to 6.
I would serve this with bagels, french bread, apples, and veggies.
For dessert we would have Chocolate fondue
It's important to maintain moderately low heat (no more than 120°F) under your fondue pot so the chocolate stays melted and just warm to the touch. Too much heat can ruin the chocolate.
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 pound cake, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 pints strawberries, rinsed and hulled
Fill the fondue pot with 2 cups warm water and place the pot on the stand. Fill the fuel burner with oil according to the manufacturer's instructions and set it on the stand.
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the cream until steam begins to rise, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate, and stir until melted, smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla and stir until blended. Pour the chocolate sauce into the porcelain insert and place the insert in the fondue pot. Set the splatter guard on the top.
Set the fondue pot on the table and light the fuel burner, following the manufacturers instructions. Serve with pound cake, strawberries and individually marked fondue forks for dipping.