We are fondue lovers in our household...so much so that we even had our rehearsal dinner for our wedding at a fondue restaurant! I love anything that slows down a meal and let's you play with your food while you have good conversation and fun. Christian loves it for those reasons too...but I think he also has a lot of fond family memories of fondue since he grew up having fondue with family and friends every Christmas Eve, a tradition we've continued together. So Christmas Eve is really our one time of year when we make fondue...and when we do it it's a full meal so this cheese fondue is followed by a meat/seafood fondue and a chocolate fondue. But to be honest, the appetizer cheese course has always been my favorite!
When it comes to cheese fondue, I'm a traditionalist. There are lots of recipes out there for Mexican cheese fondue or other versions but I absolutley love the traditional European style fondue which is what the recipe is for below. This is another one of those recipes that I'm sure I got from somewhere, but I've been making it for so long that I'm not sure what the original source was and I think I've modified it a bit over the years. Enjoy!
8 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded
4 oz aged Emmental cheese, shredded
2 TBS all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper (white preferred)
1 garlic clove, cut in half
1 1/3 cups medium-bodied white wine, such as Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc
1 TBS kirsch (cherry brandy) or brandy
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Bite size pieces of cauliflower, green apple, celery and rye bread for serving
Toss cheeses in a medium bowl with flour, cayenne pepper, and white pepper to coat and set aside.
Rub garlic clove halves, cut side down, along bottom and inside of fondue pot. Heat wine in fondue pot over medium-low heat until it starts to bubble, about 5 minutes.
Stir in cheese mixture, a little at a time. Stir in kirsch. Continue to cook, stirring until cheese is completely melted. Stir in lemon juice. The mixture should b smooth and almost bubbling. Transfer pot to its stand set over a burner. Serve immediately with crudite and bread.