Appetizer and Light Fare Recipes

Cheese Fondue

We’ve had a fondue pot for decades and it has been nearly that long since it

has been used.  Traditional cheese fondue is a mixture of white wine and cheese, flavored with garlic, kirsch and maybe some pepper and nutmeg,  eaten on cubes of good bread that have been dipped into the potted and heated cheese mixture.  Cooked ham and raw or cooked veggies can join the fun.  Fondue is easy to make on the stove top.  It is then transferred to a gentle heat source.  A proper heavy fondue pot, stand, heat source and long forks or skewers are a must to keep the cheese hot and smooth and the dining experience a fun one.  (The pot in the photo is enameled cast iron, and the heavy iron stand has a built in denatured alcohol burner–all by Le Creuset.)

Cheese fondue is a very rich dish.  A couple dips will do ya as an appetizer.  It also seems to be a “winter dish” though I don’t know why it couldn’t be served on the 4th of July.  We found that the fondue set is best positioned on a low table so seated guests can see into the pot and “do the dip” without having to stand up to peek in. 

While the classic recipe calls for Emmental and Gruyère, I recommend the addition of sharp Cheddar.  Some foodies substitute Cheddar for Gruyère, but that strays too far from what Swiss gastromnomies  likely would consider the traditional dish.


For 6 to 8, as an appetizer

See abbreviations, if necessary

·    1             garlic clove, halved

·    1.5C       dry white wine

·    1T          arrowroot

·    1T          kirsch brandy

·    1.5C       grated Emmental (~ 5oz)

·    1.5C       grated Gruyère (~5oz)

·    1.5C       grated sharp Cheddar (~5oz)

·    TT          freshly ground pepper (optional)

·    TT          freshly ground nutmeg (optional)

·    TT          pinch of salt (optional)

·    cubed     bread (olive, French, etc.)

·    cubed      ham (optional)

·    trimmed   veggies (broccolini, beans, etc.) (optional)

1.  Rub the inside of the fondue pot with garlic and then discard the garlic

2.  On the stovetop, add wine and bring to simmer

3.  Combine and mix arrowroot and kirsch

4.  Add cheese gradually, melt and stir continually

5.  Add kirsch mixture and stir to smooth

6.  Simmer and stir to thicken, about 5 minutes

7.  Transfer pot to Sterno/alcohol-fired stand

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