Nothing is more gluttonous and seductive than a pot of bubbling, hot cheese, and April 11 is National Cheese Fondue Day, when we honor this devilishly delectable dipping treat. Even though fondue is absolutely divine when done right, not all cheeses will yield the same results. In order to get advice on how to make fondue properly, we turned to chef Shane Schaibly of The Melting Pot (the mecca of cheese fondue).
Nothing is more gluttonous and seductive than a pot of bubbling, hot cheese, and April 11 is National Cheese Fondue Day, when we honor this devilishly delectable dipping treat.
Even though fondue is absolutely divine when done right, not all cheeses will yield the same results. For advice on how to make fondue properly, we turned to chef Shane Schaibly of The Melting Pot, the epicenter of cheese fondue. He even gives a few recipes that are guaranteed to be a hit at your upcoming event.
- Always add thickener to cheese fondue when creating it. To help the fondue thicken and increase its viscosity, cheese should be chopped and combined with flour or cornstarch. Use one tablespoon of flour or cornstarch per pound of cheese as a general guideline. When finished, cheese fondue that has been melted with a thickening should not be lumpy and have the consistency of warm honey.
- As the cheese is being added, keep an eye on it closely. In order to achieve a finer, smoother consistency, add the cheese gradually. To achieve the ideal consistency, not all of the cheese may be required; in some situations, additional cheese may be required.
- Add additional of the liquid you used as the basis if the cheese fondue is too thick. Make it thicker by adding extra cheese.
- Make your cheese fondue with the proper base. While white wine goes well with Gruyere and Emmenthaler Swiss, light beer pairs nicely with cheddar cheese.
- Cheese fondue should be served with French baguette-style bread, Granny Smith apples, broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower as well as pretzels, pears, and cornichons for dipping.
- Looking for a beverage to go with your cheese fondue? Try adding more of the wine or beer that you used as the recipe’s foundation.
Advice on choosing a fondue pot:
- For making cheese and chocolate fondues at home, ceramic or earthenware fondue pots are typically preferred, but a stainless steel pot is the best option for making entree fondues.
- For making cheese and chocolate fondues, it is advisable to pick a metal pot with a ceramic insert so that you may use it for both the dinner and the fondues.
- Heating ceramic pots with a low flame is recommended. Typically, fondue sets have a burning device, but in an emergency, a tea light or small candle will work just fine.
- 3.5 cups (14 ounces) of shredded Swiss cheese
- All-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons
- White wine, one cup
- Fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons
- 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
- Cherry-flavored liqueur, 1 ounce (Kirschwasser recommended)
- freshly ground pepper, 1/2 tsp.
- grated nutmeg as a garnish
In a bowl, combine the flour and cheese. Put a metal bowl on top of a pan with two inches of water in it. A typical double boiler is also an option. Over high heat, bring the water to a rolling boil. Pour the wine into the bowl while lowering the heat to medium. Use a fork to stir in the lemon juice and garlic. Cook while constantly stirring for 30 seconds.
Stir continuously while adding the first half of the cheese until it melts. Small amounts of the remaining cheese should be added while swirling continuously. Slowly pour the liqueur around the bowl’s perimeter. Remove the cheese mixture from the bowl’s edge, then heat it for approximately a minute, or until the alcohol has cooked off. Add the liqueur and cheese together. Add the pepper and gently stir. Pour into a fondue pot that is already warm, then reheat slowly. Add a touch of nutmeg as a garnish.
- 11 ounces or 2 3/4 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
- 3 tablespoons of regular flour
- 1 beer cup (light beer is recommended)
- Horseradish made in four tablespoons
- Dry mustard, 4 tablespoons
- Worcestershire sauce, two tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon of whiskey
- 2 tablespoons of cooked bacon, chopped
- 2 teaspoons of pepper, freshly ground
- 4 teaspoons of scallions, chopped
In a bowl, combine the flour and cheese. Place a metal bowl on top of a pan with two inches of water in it. A typical double boiler is also an option. Over high heat, bring the water to a rolling boil. Pour the beer into the bowl while lowering the heat to medium. Use a fork to mix in the horseradish, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. While constantly stirring, cook for 30 seconds.
Stirring continuously, add the remaining cheese, and continue cooking until it melts. Continue to whisk continuously in a circular motion after each addition of the remaining cheese until it has melted. Slowly pour the bourbon around the bowl’s perimeter. Remove the cheese mixture from the bowl’s edge and cook it for 30 seconds or so, or until the alcohol has cooked out. Cheese and bourbon should be combined. Add pepper and bacon after folding. Pour into a fondue pot that is already warm, then reheat slowly. Add scallions as a garnish.
Which cheese works best for fondue?
- Fontina, Gruyre, and gouda are the three cheeses that work best with fondue in general. Use equal portions of each of these three if you’re unsure which to choose. Complex and luscious when combined.
- The best Swiss cheese fondue (i.e., one similar to that found in Switzerland) is made from a combination of traditional, firm mountain cheeses. Gouda, Gruyere, and Swiss cheeses are all acceptable.
- Although its flavor might be less conventional, cheddar fondue would still function well. In this situation, I would mix cheddar with a more conventional cheese, such Gruyre, as one of the cheeses.
What can you dip into a fondue of cheese?
When it comes to sides that pair well with cheese fondue, there are a ton of choices. This cheesy staple may be made much more substantial and fulfilling by including the ideal ingredient. Here are our picks for the top 10 cheese fondue dippers to use the next time you serve this delectable dish.
Because bread is ideal for soaking up all the cheesy goodness, it is one of the most popular dippers for cheese fondue. This traditional side dish comes with a plethora of possibilities, including French baguettes, sourdough, breadsticks, bagels, croutons, and pretzels. Whichever bread you decide on, make sure to lightly toast it first to prevent it from disintegrating in your fondue.
If you enjoy cheese fries, you must serve your fondue with fried potatoes. With this one, you can get crafty and make your own potato chips, roasted or baked potatoes, or french fries. If you decide against potato chips, you might want to try homemade cheesy nachos with tortilla chips instead. They’ll be a hit at any gathering and are ideal for it.
Although it might seem strange, fruits, especially apples, combine surprisingly well with cheese fondue. Think of a cheese board with a variety of fruit and melting cheese. Several apples can be cut into slices and placed out for visitors to dip as desired. A delightful snack or appetizer, the crunchy, crisp tartness of an apple is the ideal complement to melted cheese.
Broccoli is a great choice if you’re looking for some veggie options for your cheese fondue. It’s a great way to give this cheese feast supper a touch of freshness and a kick of nutritious flavor. Broccoli can either be served raw or steamed first for a smoother flavor. Either way, a filling supper will be provided.
Peppers pair well with a wide variety of dishes, including cheese fondue. To this delicious cheese dish, you can add a combination of green, red, and yellow peppers for some added color and taste. It’s also nice to slice the peppers into long, thin slices so that you may dip them without using skewers.
A surprisingly adaptable side to any dish is meatballs. Meatballs are great with cheese fondue, even though we often serve them with pasta. To make a mouthwateringly cheesy meatball treat, either dip them in the fondue with a skewer or sprinkle cheese on top of them.
Sausage works best for fondue if you want to add protein to this classic dish. Savory cheese pairs extremely well with real sweet Italian sausage. The sausage is simple to slice into smaller pieces for dipping and eating. Additionally, you can choose from a range of sausages to eat with your cheese fondue, such as chorizo or hot and spicy chicken, if you want to add a little extra taste.
Poached chicken is a great option if you want to serve a substantial lunch to your family or visitors. To give the chicken more taste, you can season it with herbs and spices. You can also cover the pieces in cheese to your heart’s desire. A side of vegetables like broccoli or green beans will complete your substantial dinner, leaving guests in awe.
Another great protein to use in your fondue of cheese is steak. It makes sense to try dipping steak bits or strips into ooey cheese if you enjoy cheesesteaks. You may make miniature cheesesteak sliders by adding a slice of bread.
Do you enjoy seafood? Think of combining your preferred cheese fondue and fish in one delectable dish. An wonderful addition to your cheese fondue to up the ante is shrimp. Shrimp is ideal for adding a distinctive and upscale side dish to the traditional cheese fondue, whether it is roasted, sauteed, fried, or grilled.
What ingredients are in fondue?
The majority of Swiss residents then use a candle or other heat source at the table to keep it warm, which also adds to the spectacle!
- stale bread. ciabatta, rye, pumpkin, garlic, and sourdough.
- miniature meatballs
- Skewers for vegetables.
- wedges or cubes of potato.
- slices of pineapple.
Does fondue have to boil?
Rub a clove of garlic into the pot for flavor before adding the cooked cheese fondue.
The fondue should first be made and heated on the burner before being transferred to the fondue pot. Cheese that has been finely shredded is simple to melt. Let the cheese slowly melt. When beer, wine, or champagne are added to cheese fondue, the flavor is enhanced and curdling is avoided. Beat in some freshly squeezed lemon juice if the fondue begins to separate or curdle. Until the mixture is smooth, stir continuously with a wooden spoon. Instead of water, add wine or apple cider to alter the consistency. Always use a figure-eight motion when stirring cheese fondue to help the components combine.
La croute or la religuese, the crust that forms at the bottom of the pot when creating traditional cheese fondue, is prized for its delicacy. Serve it to your visitors after scraping it off.
Why isn’t the cheese in my fondue melting?
Cheese fondue, like Nigella’s Cheese Fondue (available at Nigella Express and on the Nigella website), is typically a simple dish to prepare. If the cheese has separated, it was likely heated to an improper temperature—either too high or too low—during the melting process. Usually, a medium heat setting is sufficient to melt the cheese without burning it, but if the fondue has been heated for some time and is still rather runny, consider turning up the heat a bit. To ensure that the cheese melts uniformly, it should be shred, grated, or cubed into reasonably small, uniform-sized pieces. As the cheese and wine mixture is cooked, it should also be stirred slowly but frequently.
The finest wine for fondue is dry and slightly acidic since the acidity helps to denature and separate the cheese’s proteins, giving the fondue a stringy texture. A teaspoon or two of lemon juice might help to restore the fondue’s texture if the cheese has become hard lumps owing to overcooking. It will be easier to re-emulsify the mixture if you add more cornflour (cornstarch) if the cheese has split and looks oily but isn’t lumpy. Stir a tablespoon of cold water and cornflour together, one tablespoon at a time, then add to the fondue until it comes together. Before making the fondue, you might also try mixing the cornflour from the recipe with the shredded cheese to keep the mixture more stable.
What type of oil is used for fondue?
An oil with a high smoke point that is neutral in flavor works best for fondue. Because olive oil has a strong flavor and a low smoke point, you shouldn’t use it in this. Canola oil is typically your best option. It has a very high smoke point, minimal flavor, and is inexpensive. If not, grapeseed oil, sunflower seed oil, and peanut oil are all suitable substitutes.
No matter what kind of oil you use, never overfill your fondue pot. When the oil gets hot, it will expand by about 10% of its original volume. And when you put food in it, it will bubble. Those bubbles might overflow if the pot is overly full and create a heated, hazardous mess.
A combination of deep-frying and oil poaching describes how food is prepared in an oil fondue. The typical temperature for deep-fryers is 350°F. Contrary to what you may have read elsewhere, it’s unlikely that your fondue pot will reach that temperature. Even if your oil managed to reach 350°F, it would not be able to sustain that temperature, which is part of the issue. The heat cannot be maintained by the oil present. Every new addition of food will lower the temperature, and the tealight or fondue burner beneath the pot won’t produce enough heat to make up for the heat lost to the cold food. Therefore, I advise not to stress too much about the oil’s temperature, but let me elaborate.
Balancing The Oil Temperature
Leave your fondue pot alone after lighting the burner underneath it and allowing the oil to heat for ten to fifteen minutes. This will give the oil enough time to heat up effectively. Place a piece of bread that has been cut into cubes in the oil to see if it is hot enough. The oil is ready to use if the bread browns in less than a minute.
From this point on, bear in mind two things. The first is that your meal is not being deep-fried. Not a deep-fry, a fondue. Balance comes in second. You don’t want the oil to cool down too much, even though you aren’t really reaching deep-frying temperatures. The secret is to strike a balance between how much food is introduced to the pot and how long it has to recuperate after the food has been removed. Everything here truly depends on the size of your fondue pot, but in general, you don’t want to fill the pot with food to a depth of more than 60 to 70%. Put a mix in the saucepan if you have both chilled and room temperature ingredients. The oil temperature will drop sharply and take a long time to rise if all the ingredients you add to the pot are cold from the refrigerator.
Fondue, not deep-fry
An Oil Fondue is similar to a cross between deep-frying and oil poaching, as I previously stated. I think it’s good to remember that. You cannot achieve the color or crispness of deep-frying with oil poaching. But as the meal cooks gently in the oil, it develops a silky texture. You’ve probably at least heard of fish poached in olive oil, which is the same concept. So accept that. The ideal situation is for the food to enter the oil with just enough heat to lightly brown it, but then for the temperature to drop—hopefully not too much—and the food to poach. This is, in my opinion, the ultimate pinnacle of the oil fondue and the finest of both worlds.
Remember that you are not frying chicken fingers or small spring rolls in your fondue pot. If the oil isn’t hot enough, those items or anything with a breading or coating will absorb the oil. Things will go well if you limit your ingredients to chunks of fresh, unbreaded meals. Additionally, breading and coatings will quickly degrade your oil.