When Bill and I were just starting to date, the first meal I cooked for him in my apartment was a simple cheese fondue. He had never had it before, and apparently he was just amazed by it.
It's very, very simple. This is the way I make it…
My mother used to make it occasionally, and I'm not sure where she got the original recipe…she used to make it with crabmeat too, but most canned crabmeat doesn't have enough flavor to compete with the cheese and the wine. Anyway, here it is.
You will need:
half a stick of butter
1/4 cup of flour
1 cup of dry white wine (and drink the rest with dinner)
2 1/2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar
1 can of crabmeat (optional…if you have the urge to buy a live crab or two and cook them and pick out the meat, it would probably be a whole lot better)
a loaf of crusty bread – a baguette, a loaf of Italian bread, a sourdough boule (did I spell that right? I should check, but my ice cream is melting and I don't feel like taking the time…), whatever you like….
Wrap the bread in foil and put in a 350 degree oven to warm it up. My mother used to cut it into chunks, but there's something fun about ripping it apart at the table, too…
In a heavy-duty saucepan, melt the butter add the flour, whisking constantly to remove the lumps. Cook for a minute or two, whisking all the while so it doesn't stick and burn.
Pour in the wine and continue whisking until the mixture is smooth and starts to thicken slightly. Add the cheese, and stir until it all melts.
Pour the mixture into a fondue pot and follow your manufacturer's instructions about lighting the flame below.
Light candles, pour the rest of the wine, and, using the fondue forks or skewers or your fingers, dunk chunks of bread into the fondue and – (careful! cheese is hot and will burn the roof of your mouth, which kind of detracts from the romance of it all) – enjoy.
You can try other kinds of cheese, or a combination of other cheeses…cheddar isn't traditional, but I like the sharpness. Anyway – it's long been a favorite of ours…thought I'd share…hope you try it…hope you like it!