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for December 30, 2002

Recipe Week, Day 1:
Musical Fondue!

by Tami Yaches

[Editor's Note: This week, while all the other music websites post their lists of ten-bests, and ten-worsts, and ten-mosts, and ten-leasts, we at ALTROK have decided to be really alternative and post recipes. Enjoy.]

For 4 people

  • 10 oz. white wine (I like the heavy sweet stuff, but you may not)
  • 1 Clove garlic
  • 22 oz Hard and soft cheese. I usually do 1/2 and 1/2 Swiss and Gruyere. Cube the hard cheese, or grate it, it will melt easier.
  • 2 Tbsp Cornstarch or flour. Both work, it's a preference matter.
  • 2oz Kirsch is traditional, but I have experimented with other hard liquors, such as rye and vermouth. The rye worked particularly well.
  • Optional: a shake pepper and/or a grind fresh nutmeg
  • Much bread, cubed

If you can, use a fondue pot. Most people have access to one, even if it takes a few days to clean the cobwebs out of it. Rub the inside of the pan with the clove of garlic by cutting it in half and placing the inside part to the pan. Add the wine and bring it to a boil. (On a stove, the sterno part comes later)

Stir the hard liquor into the cornstarch or flour, making a paste. Slowly start adding cheese to the boiling wine mixture, stirring constantly until each bit is almost completely incorporated, then adding more. Keep stirring over the heat until the mixture comes to a boil again. Add the hard liquor paste, then add freshly ground pepper and nutmeg to taste. If it's my taste, that means a nice pinch of nutmeg and no pepper. I am not a pepper person.

Remove the dish to on top of a small live flame (Sterno or alcohol burner) and keep it bubbling slowly. Bread should have been cubed (about 1-inch cubes) for spearing with fondue forks and stirring around in the cheese. The old custom is that if you accidentally lose the bread from the end of your fork, you have to kiss the person next to you. (Hmm.)

The crusty bit that forms at the bottom of the pot as the cheese keeps cooking is called the "crouton", and is very nice peeled off and divided up among the guests as a sort of farewell to dinner, if you don't burn it to an unrecognizable black substance as I invariably do.

©2002 Tami Yaches

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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