Although I'm not in a relationship, that doesn't mean I'm not going to celebrate Valentine's Day! This year I'm helping my sister and her BFF plan an all girl party. To make things festive and sexy, we're serving fondue. A fondue party appeals to everyone because guests can pick and choose what they want to dip into the melted cheese pleasing both vegetarians and meat eaters alike.
For our party, we will be serving the classic Swiss version of fondue as well as two other variations: a goat cheese fondue and a beer cheddar fondue. Cubed bread — both wheat and white — vegetables, fingerling potatoes, and pear slices will be used as dippers. For these fabulous fondue recipes,
1 garlic clove, halved crosswise
1 1/2 cups dry white wine (preferably Swiss, such as Fendant)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons kirsch
1/2 lb Emmental cheese, coarsely grated (2 cups)
1/2 lb Gruyère , coarsely grated (2 cups)
cubes of French bread on fondue forks or long wooden skewers
Special equipment: a fondue pot
- Rub inside of a 4-quart heavy pot with cut sides of garlic, then discard garlic. Add wine to pot and bring just to a simmer over moderate heat.
- Stir together cornstarch and kirsch in a cup.
- Gradually add cheese to pot and cook, stirring constantly in a zigzag pattern (not a circular motion) to prevent cheese from balling up, until cheese is just melted and creamy (do not let boil).
- Stir cornstarch mixture again and stir into fondue. Bring fondue to a simmer and cook, stirring, until thickened, 5 to 8 minutes.
- Transfer to fondue pot set over a flame and serve with bread for dipping.
2 pounds fingerling potatoes (30 to 40)
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces soft goat cheese, room temperature
1 cup nonfat buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 bunch of chives, finely chopped
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 chervil, for garnish
- Place fingerling potatoes and salt in a large saucepan with enough cold water to cover generously. Place over high heat, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer, and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat, and drain potatoes in a colander. Transfer potatoes to a platter; set aside.
- Place goat cheese and buttermilk in a heat-proof bowl or the top of a double boiler, and place over a pan of simmering water. Warm mixture, stirring until it is very smooth, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Remove from heat, and stir in pepper, chives, thyme, tarragon, and parsley.
- Place in the bowl of a small fondue pot or in a warm serving bowl; serve immediately with fingerling potatoes garnished with chervil.
Serves 12 to 14.
1/2 pound ground pork sausage
6 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 (8-ounce) blocks Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup beer*
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
Cubed French bread or sliced pears
- Cook ground pork sausage in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring until it crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain and remove sausage from pan.
- Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat; add onion and garlic, and sauté until tender.
- Add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
- Gradually add milk, stirring until thickened. Add cheese, stirring until melted.
- Remove from heat; stir in sausage, beer, and next 3 ingredients.
- Transfer to a fondue pot or slow cooker; keep warm on low. Serve with cubed French bread or sliced pears.
Makes about 6 cups.
*Nonalcoholic beer may be substituted for regular beer.