Wednesday, December 31, 2008

ringing in the new year with cheese fondue - recipe: cheese fondue

I revel in traditions. Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, spring, summer, winter and fall.

Just ask my husband, who silently shakes his head and smiles (or is he grimacing?) at all of the customs that I've instituted since our son John was born this past May.

David still can't quite understand why I insisted on taking John with me for my/our first trip (of many many more to come) to Herrles for fresh produce, to pick out a perfect pumpkin at Shantzholm pumpkins for Halloween, or to Martin's Family Fruit farm for a taste of fall's first apples.

Last year I convinced my hubby and parents to start an annual New Year's Eve Fondue Night.

What can I say, they felt sorry for me.

I was pregnant, and craving bread and cheese 24/7!

We made a delicious cheese fondue (we didn't bother with a meat fondue — albeit delicious, they can get messy with all of that hot oil).

We served it with cubes of crusty baguette and steamed vegetables.

To appease my husband, I included a generous portion of grilled steak on the side.

(If you read this column regularly, you'll remember that my mother is all about moderation, hence the vegetables, and my husband David really likes his protein, hence the steak.)

As I'm typing this I'm realizing that all of my traditions involve food.

Is that bad?

I guess I'll have to get busy in the new year creating some traditions that involve crafts or exercise or music or anything non-epicurean!

Anyway, below is a recipe for a traditional cheese fondue.

This is a super easy and delicious version.

And the credit goes to good old Martha.

Cheese Fondue

Serves Eight to 10 (Or one pregnant woman and three additional adults)


  • 1 clove garlic, halved crosswise
  • 1 1/3 cups dry white wine
  • 8 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (about 3 cups)
  • 8 ounces Emmenthal cheese, grated (about 3 cups)
  • 8 ounces raclette cheese, grated (about 3 cups)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, optional
  • 1 loaf baguette, cut into one-inch cubes
  • Assorted (lightly steamed or raw) vegetables, such as mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower and/or pickled onions and cooked, cubed potatoes)


  • Rub inside of a fondue pot with garlic clove.
  • Discard garlic.
  • Pour wine into a saucepan and place over medium-low heat.
  • When liquid starts to bubble, start adding cheeses by the handful.
  • Stir the cheese until it’s melted and combined.
  • Whisk together lemon juice and cornstarch in a small bowl until cornstarch dissolves.
  • Then stir those ingredients into the cheese mixture.
  • Continue stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbling slightly, about five minutes.
  • Season with nutmeg, if desired.
  • Transfer the cheese mixture to a fondue pot and keep warm over the fondue pot warmer.
  • Serve with bread and/or vegetables.
Enjoy this cheese fondue recipe, and have a happy new year.

quick tip

Have you heard of or eaten at the U. S. restaurant chain, the Melting Pot?

Each table has a built-in fondue type "pot" and their menu consists solely of cheese, meat and chocolate fondues (they offer unique varieties of each).

An idea from their dessert fondue menu: for a little extra kick, try adding your favourite liqueur (such as Baileys, Cointreau/Grand Marnier, Chambord/Framboise or Tia Maria) to your chocolate fondue.


I really hope that they expand their franchise into Canada sometime soon.

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