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Swiss Cheese Fondue

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Description

Swiss Cheese Fondue is a perfect gluten free dinner and a popular New Year’s Eve choice. This communal way of dining is ideal for a small group.

Each diner uses their fork to stir the cheese in a figure-eight pattern as they dip. This ritual prevents the cheese from burning on the bottom of the fondue pot. The small flame at the table, the dipping and stirring all creates a relaxed, social atmosphere.

Gluten Free Bread for Swiss Cheese Fondue

If the mere mention of cheese fondue conjures up images of people skewering cubes of gluten-filled bread on long forks think again.

The Swiss did invent the cheese fondue to use up stale bread and old cheese but wait…cheese fondue can be served with no bread at all. There are unlimited gluten free options including meats, seafood, raw or blanched veggies, fresh and canned fruit. Anything you would eat with cheese.

In North America we all eat too many processed carbs and bread isn’t needed. With all good intentions to display the variety of foods you could serve I got in the kitchen and made a loaf of my gluten free Crusty Bread the day of this photo shoot. I couldn’t help myself and it held up well for dipping.

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The Elements of Swiss Cheese Fondue

The Pot – A cheese fondue pot is not essential but it is the best choice. You can buy a ceramic cheese fondue pot on Amazon starting at $50. You can use a saucepan but ask your family and friends, fondue pots are meant to be shared. I think there are a lot of fondue pots hiding in kitchens ready to be used.

The Flame – Years ago we bought fondue fuel, poured it into the burner and adjusted the vents to control the flame. Gel is now the preferred way to keep your fondue warm and is available in kitchen stores. Simply light it.

The Cheese – This is not the meal for inexpensive or stringy cheese. A Swiss fondue should include a combination of imported Swiss cheese, any combination will do.

The Forks – Technically you should not eat the food off your fondue fork, that is double-dipping. One should push the cheese-covered food off the fondue fork onto your plate and eat it with your dinner fork.

I hope you will put fondue on your list of fun, casual meals for any time of year. Let me know in the comments below if you have a favourite food for dipping.

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Ingredients

1 clove garlic
900 g or 30 oz cubed Swiss cheese (any combination of Emmenthal, Gruyere, Apenzeller or Raclette) (allow 150g or 5 oz of cheese per person)
2¾ cups dry white wine
3 Tbsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp Kirsch or pear liqueur* (optional)
finely ground black pepper and nutmeg to taste
DIPPING FOODS
Cubed, day old GF bread
Any meat - cooked Italian sausage, cold cuts or cooked bacon (why not!)
Any raw or partially cooked vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, peppers, mushrooms or cherry tomatoes
Any fresh or canned fruit – apple, pear, Asian pear or grapes
*If not using Kirsch toss all the cubed cheese with the cornstarch before adding it to the pot.

Directions

1
CHEESE FONDUE
2
Crush garlic or cut it in half. Rub the inside of a pot with the garlic and leave it in the pot.
3
Add wine to pot and heat on medium heat until it begins to bubble.
4
Add cheese in small handfuls stirring until partially melted. Continue adding and stirring until all the cheese is in the pot. Stir until very smooth.
5
Whisk cornstarch and liqueur until smooth. Stir into cheese mixture stirring until thickened, about 5 minutes.
6
Season to taste with pepper and nutmeg.
7
Pour melted cheese into fondue pot and place over fondue flame. Serve with dipping foods of your choice.
8
DIPPING FOODS
9
Arrange dipping foods of you choice onto plates that will be easy to pass around.

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