Fondue involves dipping a solid food into pots of hot or warm liquids, combining two great tastes. There are three types of fondues: cheese, oil, and dessert (usually chocolate).
For cheese fondue, chunks of bread, boiled potatoes, or apples are dipped into a blend of two or three melted cheeses from the Alps. Cheese fondue as we know it came from Switzerland – understandably, since this country produces so many great melting cheeses. To pair, try a Riesling Kabinett (sweeter) or a Gruner Veltliner (drier) as the perfect accompaniment.
Fondue Bourguignon also came from Switzerland, following World War II. This type of fondue uses hot peanut oil to cook meat and vegetables, with one or more dipping sauces served on the side. The traditional sauces include mustard, curry, aioli and horseradish, but you can serve whatever sounds appealing. A simple mixture of Crème Fraiche and truffle oil offers another superb accompaniment. Chicken or shrimp may be offered in place of the beef, and boiling hot broth can be substituted for the oil. A perfect wine companion, Berger Zweigelt, is soft, fruity red with a spicy finish, from Austria.
Chocolate fondue combines your favorite fresh or dried fruits, marshmallows, and pound cake with hot melted chocolate. Because chocolate is an aphrodisiac, chocolate fondue is the perfect romantic dessert. By adding other ingredients to the melted chocolate, like cognac, rum, or coffee, this dessert can be slightly modified each time it is enjoyed. Your favorite bubbly is a perfect accompaniment.
SURDYK’S SWISS FONDUE
1 lb Beaufort or Challerhocker (or favorite alpine cheese)
3 Tbsp flour or corn starch
1 clove garlic
1-½ cups dry white wine – try La Freynelle Blanc
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Pepper and nutmeg to taste
Grate cheeses and dredge with flour or corn starch. Rub the inside of the pot with a cut garlic clove. Discard garlic and place pot over medium flame. Warm wine; do not boil. Add lemon juice. Add cheese by the handful, stirring constantly until the cheese is melted. Add pepper and nutmeg to taste and heat just to boiling. Transfer to tabletop burner.
To serve: Spear bite-size pieces of bread on a fork and dunk into the cheese. Stir until bread is well coated, then remove while rotating fork to keep cheese from dripping. Be careful, because the cheese is hot!
The bread: Allow 7 ounces per person. Cut crusty Italian or French bread into bite size cubes, making sure each cube has some crust so the bread is held firmly on the fork and does not fall off in the fondue.
½ cup heavy cream
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, broken into small chunks
2 tablespoons cognac, rum or Cointreau
Accompaniments: Dried apricots, fresh strawberries, apple slices, bananas, chunks of pound cake, and marshmallows.
Warm cream in small saucepan on low to medium heat. Add chocolate and stir constantly over low heat until melted. Stir cognac (or rum, or Cointreau) into melted chocolate. Pour into ceramic fondue pot with candle warmer.
Raclette originated in the Valais canton of Switzerland around 1292 when farmers and shepherds would make meals of cheese, melted by camp fires, and accompanied by cornichon, bread, and cured meats.
Today, we typically enjoy Raclette in the warmth and comfort of our homes, and often use a special Raclette melting oven in place of an open campfire. A rather hearty meal meant to be shared with family and friends, we recommend you plan for a leisurely pace; the cheese melts slowly, so there’s lots of time for wine and conversation.
What you’ll need:
• Raclette oven: ½ or ¼ wheel, depending on the number of guests
• French Raclette (more aromatic) or Swiss Raclette (a bit milder)
• Boiled potatoes – thin skinned new potatoes are preferred
Prepare about 7 ounces of cheese and potatoes per guest.
• Salumi board with sliced salami, speck, prosciutto, and bresaola
• Cornichons and pickled onions
• Sliced baguette
• Assorted crudités or blanched vegetables like Brussels sprouts, haricots verts, or Belgian endive
• Mustard and sea salt
Surdyk’s Cheese Shop rents both half and quarter wheel Raclette machines.
If you are interested, please call us at 612-379-9757.