Good morning GUSgoudas!!!  Long week of cleaning out every room, waxing floors and still haven't finished the kitchen.  Amazing what one finds in cubbyholes -- like VHS, DVD and Disc players that all work.  Two more cubbies to go in the kitchen -- and they will be a several day project.  All the out of site, out of mind stuff is in there -- and I can only clean when the cats are not around.

So, last night I needed something simple -- and since I washed the dust off the cast iron fondue pot I've never used in 12 years -- what the hank.  Try fondue!  

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First thing was to find sterno.  My set up (and recipe) calls for the gel you squeeze into the burner thingy.  Next time, I think I'll just get the small can and place it in the burner.  We filled the burner about 1/4 of the way with gel and the flame was a bit too high -- might be bad design but we didn't set ourselves on fire.

I made the fondue on the stove in the fondue pot -- as you can tell already, I'm a first timer.

Gruyere with Veggies and Bread Fondue


1 garlic clove, cut in half
1 1/4 cups of dry white wine
5 tblsps brandy (I used dry sherry)
14 oz. Gruyere
7 oz. Emmantaler (I used Jarlsberg)
2 tblsps corn starc
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
salt and pepper


Roasted veggies -- I used red pepper, onion, mushrooms and small potatoes
French bread cut into pieces and toasted in oven

Rub the inside of your fondue pot with the garlic and disgard (I put mine in a bit of olive oil to use for a sauce today)
Heat wine and 3 tablespoons of brandy to a slow simmer.
Gradually add cheese and stir or whisk constantly until each batch is blended in.
Mix cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of brandy and add a little at a time until cheese is bound and thickened.

I adjusted all of these ingredients for two -- you can pretty much eyeball the balance between liquids and cheese.

Place your pot over the sterno and light -- adjust flame with lid.  Dip your veggies and bread and enjoy.

Next time, my buddy suggested making little meatballs and cooking up and slicing Italian sausage and using them as the dippers with a side of sauce and toasted bread.  Sounds yummy.
French Cheese with Potato and Broccoli


2 scallions, trimmed and chopped
2 1/2 cups of dry white wine
12 ox Beaufort or Gruyere cheese, grated
12 oz Camembert cheese, rind removed, cut into small pieces
2 tbsp. corn starch
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper


Crispy Potato Skins

For the potato skins, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Scrub the potatoes, pierece with a fork and bake for 50 minutes.  Let cool.  Cut each lengthwise into 8 pieces.  Scoop out most of the flesh, brush with butter, and season with salt and pepper.  Arrange skinside down on a cookie sheet.  Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Steam broccoli (or have it raw).

Put the scallions into a flameproof fondue pot with all but 2 tablespoons of wine.  Transfer to the stove and bring to a simmer over low heat.  Add a handful of cheese and stir until melted.  Repeat until all the cheese has been added

Mix the cornstarch and remaining wine in a bowl and add slowly to cheese until thickened.  

Toasted French bread pieces also goes well.

I think brandy or sherry would also enhance this dish if you want to add a bit.

Irish Cheddar and Stout Fondue


    2 cups 1- to 1 1/2-inch-diameter red-skinned potatoes, halved
    2 cups cauliflower florets
    2 cups very small brussels sprouts
    2 apples, cored, cut into wedges

    1 pound Irish cheddar cheese, grated
    2 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
    3/4 cup (or more) Irish stout (such as Guinness)
    6 tablespoons frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
    1 tablespoon Dijon mustard


 Steam all vegetables until tender, about 15 minutes. Arrange vegetables and apples around edge of large platter.

Meanwhile, toss cheese with flour in large bowl. Bring 3/4 cup stout, juice concentrate, and mustard to simmer in large saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add cheese mixture, stirring constantly, until cheese is melted and smooth, thinning with more stout, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer fondue to bowl. Place in center of platter with vegetables.

I don't like sweetened stuff so I'd eliminate the apple juice and add more booze.

Caramel Chocolate Fondue


    2 packages (5-1/2 ounces each) Riesen's chewy chocolate-covered caramels
    1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
    1 teaspoon rum extract
    Cubed pound cake, sliced bananas and fresh strawberries
    1 cup nut topping


    In a heavy saucepan, melt caramels with cream over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from the heat. Stir in extract.
    Keep warm. Dip cake and fruit into fondue, then into nut topping. Yield: 1-1/2 cups.

Mocha Fondue


    3 cups (18 ounces) milk chocolate chips
    1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
    1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
    2 tablespoons hot water
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 pound cake (16 ounces), cut into 1-inch cubes
    Strawberries, kiwi or other fresh fruit


    In a heavy saucepan, melt chocolate with cream over low heat, stirring constantly. Dissolve coffee in water; add to chocolate mixture with vanilla and cinnamon. Mix well.
    Serve warm, using cake pieces and fruit for dipping. Yield: 2 cups.

I need a heck of a lot more experience before I try an oil fondue.  Something nerve wracking about a pot of hot oil in the middle of the table.
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