Beer-Cheese Fondue

>> Thursday, January 21, 2010

In my last post (about the veggie-packed sandwich we call THE LOVER), I mentioned one of Stephen's specialities: homemade seitan. He has another one I'm just dying to tell you about: beer-cheese fondue. Why bring up such a cheesy, calorie-rich recipe in the midst of a healthy eating blitz?

Why not?

I love this stuff, and I may just allow myself to indulge over the weekend. And if you want to impress your friends at a fun gathering -- MAKE FONDUE. Our friends love it -- and it's super easy/fast to make!

What you'll need . . .

  • A fondue pot. We have a cast-iron one from Le Creuset that requires a sterno, as well as a Cuisinart we just got for X-mas that's electric. Either way, it'll work just fine. But for the purpose of this recipe, I'll be writing for the Le Creuset.
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 3/4 cup beer (we like to use either pale ale or stout for good flavor)
  • 12 ounces cheddar cheese, cubed (though, you may also use 8 ounces cheddar and 4 ounces swiss)
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons grainy mustard (or any kind except regular yellow mustard)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Method . . .

  1. Rub the inside of your fondue pot with the cut surface of the garlic. Discard.
  2. Add beer to pot and heat (on stove) over medium-high heat.
  3. Whisk in the cornstarch, mustard, and cayenne until fully mixed.
  4. Slowly stir in the cheese. Keep stirring until the mixture is thickened and bubbly.
  5. Place fondue pot on its stand and light your sterno. You're good to go!

Cheese fondue is my absolute favorite kind. However, we recently went to The Melting Pot for the first time (after the marathon in November with my dear friend Meg). And, woah. You can do fondue with tons of bases -- like veggie broth, oil, chocolate, peanut butter, and other kinds of cheeses. Etc. And you can dip essentially ANYTHING!

We enjoyed our Melting Pot experience so much, we even went back later in the week to have more with Stephen's parents. Here I am chomping on some dessert fondue. A marshmallow, specifically. Yum.

It's one of my favorite places ever now. Too bad we don't live terribly close to one (I think the nearest is about 2 hours away). More reason to visit Meg, I guess :)

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