Learning how to make fondue depends on what exactly you are wanting. The history of fondue takes us back centuries to France and Switzerland. These early recipes included eggs (like scrambled) and cheese. Later recipes added wine to the cheese and omitted the eggs. The introduction of corn starch to cooking made it easier to make a smooth sauce. Fondue was a dish more for the wealthier people. Gruyere cheese became a base for fondue and the peasants could not afford to eat it.
In the 1970’s, the popularity of fondue exploded here in the United States. Cooks were coming up with all kinds of recipes. The types of ingredients used in fondue recipes ballooned to include some like chocolate, meats and oil to fry the meats. Fondue restaurants were popping up all over this country. People held fondue parties in their homes. At that time, fondue appetizers were common added to dinners or they were a great way of entertaining and socializing centered around only a pot of fondue.
For this section I want to focus on the oldest type from the history of fondue; that is cheese. When you learn how to make fondue, you will find that of all the recipes made with cheese, those with warm melted cheese sauce holds center stage to all the others. Today many of these delicious sauces contain wonderful wines or beer for those beer lovers. The cheese is diced or shredded and cooked in the wine or beer. This keeps the cheese from the direct heat which prevents it from burning. Cooking in the alcohol also add a subtle pleasant flavor.
The cooking vessel when learning how to make fondue needs to be a heavy one set on top of well distributed heat to keep the temperature of the liquid evenly at a bare simmer. (Some use a chafing dish or there is a variety of good fondue pots available for purchase that also makes a nice presentation to move to the table for serving.)To prevent the fat and protein in the cheese from separating, the melting should be done as gently as possible. Prolonged exposure to heat increases the risk of the cheese separating; a little flour or potato flour should be stirred in before serving. The grains of the starch help to stabilize the cheese and the wine.
For making recipes with smaller quantities of cheese and a splash of liquid like a Welsh rarebit recipe, it is not necessary to add the starch. Like fondue recipes, it is basically melted cheese differing in the type of cheese used; traditionally this uses Cheddar cheese. The Welsh rarebit recipe or “Welsh rabbit” was coined in name by a hunter returning home without any game for dinner. This melted mixture was simply poured over toast or fried bread to serve.
NOTE: Fondue is typically served with toothpicks which are used to spear bread cubes. Small pieces of fruits and vegetables can also be used to dip in the melted mixture. Everyone generally dips into the same heated pot. Although the small pieces are only dipped once before eating, I still do not like this idea. I prefer to provide very small dishes from which each person can dip. Each can refill from the heated pot on the table as often as needed.
Melt butter in chafing dish; add cheese and seasonings.
When cheese starts to melt gradually add beer.
Add beaten egg; blend and serve on plates over toasted bread.
Stir in oysters after eggs if desired.
Unlike Welsh rarebit, fondue recipes come to the table in its cooking vessel and set on a portable heat source to maintain mixture at a gentle simmer. Each guest is provided with a long handled fondue fork and some pieces of firm crusty bread. To eat the guests will spear the bread with the fork and then swirl it in the hot fondue to coat the bread. Another eating fork and plate is provided to each guest to eat from. (Many instruct eating from the fondue fork; however I do not like re-dipping the fork into communal fondue pot after eating from it.)
This American variation of the fondue recipes is good when learning how to make fondue. It is on the order of a cheese soufflé and finished by baking in the oven. The bread crumbs serve as the starch which helps to hold it together. Serve with fresh hot French bread.
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
In a saucepan heat milk and breadcrumbs over low heat stirring until blended.
Add butter, cheese and seasonings and cook one minute longer.
Remove from heat and add beaten egg yolks.
Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into cheese mixture.
Pour mixture into a lightly buttered soufflé baking dish; bake 15 to 20 minutes.
Learn how to make fondue from the seventies.
Combine cheeses, cream and sherry in top of double boiler.
Reduce heat to medium and cook until cheeses melt stirring occasionally.
Add crabmeat and cook until bubbly stirring often.
Pour fondue into fondue pot and serve from table with bread cubes.
In a bowl stir four into the cheese; set aside.
In a fondue pot or heavy pan rub bottom of pan with cut sides of garlic.
Pour wine into the pan and heat just until it starts to bubble.
Add cheese gradually to the pan stirring until melted.
Stir the salt, pepper and nutmeg into the cheese mixture.
Continue heating and stirring until mixture begins to boil again.
Stir the Kirsch into the mixture; serve immediately with the bread cubes for dunking.
Learn how to make fondue with this traditional recipe.
Rub inside of chafing dish or fondue pot with the garlic (Leave in).
Add the wine, mustard, salt and pepper; bring to a boil.
Add cheese and stir over low until smooth and bubbly.
Dilute cornstarch and baking soda in the Kirsch.
Pour Kirsch mixture into cheese mixture until thoroughly blended.
Keep warm and serve from same dish or pot at the table.
Serve with bread cubes and toothpicks for spearing; serves 6 to 8.
Learn how to make fondue with eggs.
Melt butter over low heat in fondue pot and stir in flour; gradually stir in milk.
Heat mixture until thickened; add tomato soup and cheese stirring until cheese melts.
Stir in eggs; season with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.
NOTE: Add more Worcestershire sauce or milk to obtain the thickness you desire.
To serve spoon over slices of toast or dip toast cubes in the warm mixture.
Learn how to make fondue with a great pizza flavor.
Combine spaghetti sauce, seasoning, cornstarch and pepperoni in a lightly greased slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low heat for 2-3 hours; add cheese the last hour of cooking.
Serve with bread sticks or cubes of Italian bread for dipping.
Serves 8 to 10.Painless Cooking › Milk Cheese and Eggs › How to Make Fondue
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