Did anyone else not really believe the weatherman when he said we were going to be snowed in yesterday morning? I mean really, they’re only right about 40% of the time…
So anyway, as you can imagine, I wasn’t exactly ready for the plethora of fluffy, white snowfall that I woke up to. Whilst everyone else’s fridges were packed to the brim with milk and bread, mine was seriously lacking.
But I’ll tell you what was in my fridge: cheese.
And so, this has inspired me to create this lovely little post for you on (drumroll please….) cheese fondue.
Now, let me start by saying that in my opinion, cheese fondue is one of the most highly overlooked foods. It’s such a simple concept: just melt some cheese! But I’ve certainly found myself trying to figure out the right basic ingredients to make the perfect fondue.
In the past when I’ve tried looking into this topic, I’ve always just found various recipes for different fondues, and most of them required an exorbitant number of ingredients–not what I was looking for.
But alas! I’ve finally found the secret to the perfect cheese fondue, thanks to the site Serious Eats. Basically your fondue requires 5(ish) ingredients:
- Lemon Juice
- Salt & Pepper
I know, that’s technically 6 ingredients, but salt and pepper is really like one thing anyway.
Now, I could already tell you off the bat that a great fondue starts with a great melting cheese; my go-to favorite is the classic Gruyere. I also know that a light white wine is ideal; however, last time I made fondue I ran into some issues because I think that
A. I used too much wine and
B. my cheese and wine would not combine together, so I ended up with this weird wine-soaked cheesy blob (gross).
SO. What I’ve learned from reading is the following:
- Keep it simple; pick 1 or 2 cheeses and make sure one of them is super melt-able
- Use about 1 cup of wine for every 1 pound of cheese
- Heat your wine/cheese on a very low heat setting or flame
- Shred the cheese and then toss it with some cornstarch before trying to melt it into the wine, otherwise it probably will not incorporate nicely (and you’ll end up with a weird wine-soaked cheesy blob)
- Use lemon juice for some added acidity & also to help stabilize your cheese fondue
- Being “stable” means that your cheese mixture will remain smooth and mixed together. When cheese sauces are heated too much or don’t have enough of certain ingredients to help stabilize them, they “break”, meaning that the cheese solids separate from the liquids and the sauce becomes clumpy.
- Salt and pepper are very basic but key ingredients in enhancing the flavors in your fondue
All right, so now that we have some basic tips, let’s get into a quick and easy recipe that you can make with items from our Vineyard Market the next time you’re snowed in!
Super Simple Cheese Fondue
Too many cheese fondue recipes are super complicated and ask you to throw in too many ingredients (for my preference). This recipe is nice and easy and only requires 5 ingredients (give or take). Remember, we’re cooking here, so everything doesn’t have to be perfectly exact. If you wanna throw in a couple of tablespoons of grated Parmesan, do it. If you have some chives on hand that you want to add in, by all means. Experiment a little bit and have fun with it!
What you’ll need:
- about 8oz. Gruyere, shredded
- about 8oz. French Emmental, shredded
- 1 cup Santa Silvana Pinot Grigio (or any dry, white wine)
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 medium-sized lemon, juiced
- salt & pepper
- optional: 1 fresh garlic clove, halved
- Your choice of dippables:
- cubes of bread, chunks of fresh apple, baby carrots or broccoli
How to do it:
- Pro-tip from Serious Eats: use the halved garlic clove to rub down the inside of your fondue pot before you start heating the wine to impart a nice garlicky flavor.
- Put wine in your fondue pot (or over a very low flame or double-boiler) and begin heating it up.
- Combine your shredded cheeses in a bowl and toss with cornstarch.
- Little by little, begin adding the cheese mixture to your wine, stirring carefully with each addition to make sure it’s fully incorporating.
- Once you’ve added and mixed in all the cheese and your fondue is smooth, add and mix in the lemon juice.
- Next add salt and pepper to taste.
- Bon appetit!