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Simple cheese fondue recipe with sharp cheddar and white wine

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Between chocolate fountains and endless fusion variations, it’s easy to forget that fondue was originally all about cheese -- and not just any cheese, but smooth, bubbly, hot cheese. The word fondue is a form of the French verb for to melt. It’s time to rediscover the art of melting with a simple fondue recipe that takes the dish back to its classic roots.

This fondue cheese recipe only requires a few ingredients, because the cheese is the star of the show, but the addition of just a few extras takes the fondue from humdrum to gourmet. White wine gives the fondue its depth, so don’t be afraid to use the whole cup. Remember: if it doesn’t taste good enough to drink, don’t use it in your cooking. Avoid wines labelled as “cooking wine.” They’re loaded with salt, which will ruin the balance of flavors in your fondue.

Cubes of French or Italian bread are the classic choice for dipping into your hot fondue, but there are plenty of other options. Choose one or a few for a party appetizer, or choose several and make a meal out of your fondue.

Options for cheese fondue dipping:

  • Slices of tart apple
  • Fresh pear slices
  • Thinly sliced beef
  • Cubed tenderloin
  • Salami
  • Smoked sausage
  • Cooked fingerling potatoes
  • Asparagus tips
  • Hot pretzels
  • Small squares of focaccia

Simple Cheese Fondue Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 oz. Cabot Sharp Cheddar, grated
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp. cold water
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg

Directions:

In an enamel or stainless steel saucepan, bring white wine, garlic, and bay leaves to a simmer. Reduce heat slightly and whisk in cheddar cheese little by little, then return to a simmer. In a small bowl, stir cornstarch and water together, then whisk into fondue mixture. Continue whisking until smooth and slightly thickened. Sprinkle in the nutmeg. Transfer fondue to a fondue pot or a small crock-pot to keep warm. Serve with cubes of bread or one or more of the dipping options listed above.

Recipe adapted from and courtesy of Cabot of Vermont.

More gourmet appetizer recipes from Examiner:

Authentic Lebanese falafel

Crispy fried spring rolls

Chicken satay skewers

Spicy shrimp and habanero quesadillas

Prosciutto-wrapped scallops

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