Like most families in the early seventies, mine had a fondue pot that would come out of the tippy-top closet once in a blue moon, bringing joy and mess to our dinner table. As a preteen, I'm not sure which I enjoyed more, dipping the veggies and bread cubes in the molten cheese, or playing with the Sterno, but now I'm in love with the communal, get-together nature of this way to dine.
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 6
- 1 garlic clove, halved
- 2 cups dry white wine
- ¾ pound Emmental (Swiss) cheese, shredded (3 cups)
- ¾ pound Gruyère cheese, shredded (3 cups)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons kirsch
- Assorted steamed vegetables such as carrot sticks, broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans
- Cubes of French bread
Rub the inside of a medium saucepot with the cut side of the garlic. Discard the clove, or leave it in. Add the wine, and cook over medium heat until it simmers.
Whisk in the cheese in small handfuls, making sure that the last addition has completely melted before adding the next.
Combine the cornstarch and kirsch into a paste; whisk into cheese mixture. Simmer the fondue gently for 5 to 7 minutes to allow the cornstarch to thicken.
Transfer the cheese mixture to a fondue pot, and set a low flame under it — just enough to keep it at the border of simmering.
Assemble a platter with the vegetables and bread cubes, and set the table with either long fondue forks or long wooden skewers.