Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Et Tu, Fondue?

Last month, I discovered a fun little blog by the name of Twelve Tu Tu Fondue. Amidst the very colourful tales lay an invitation to a late December fondue party- 'cuz nothin' says lovin' like toasted hunks of bread being dipped into piping hot, melty cheese. Uh, and not in the oven.

Fondue was something that DucCat and I discovered a couple of years ago, after I returned from a thrifting with not one, but two fondue sets! As it turned out, we even had a great recipe tucked away in his Mom's James River Kitchen Cookbook, the 'Snack Suppers' chapter: Gourmet's Welsh Rabbit.

I can assure you , no actual rabbits were harmed in the making of this dish.

The recipe calls for this to be served drizzled over toasted bread. I mix and melt the cheesey goodness on the stovetop, then pour it into the fondue pot. We dip in rough chunks of toasted bread, and are always amazed at how much we put away.

Since fondue is a touch on the heavy side, I like to keep a bright, crisp salad close at hand, preferably crowned with a spicy batch of pepperoncinis. DucCat pretty much skips the salad in favour of pepperoncinis on their own.

Our wine accompainment was a recent buy at Trader Joe's: the Conte di Bregonzo Amarone Classico 2002.

Click here for larger image.

Now, I've really only experienced one amarone previously. It was some time ago, but I remember, deliciously raisin-y (sorry, MeBeth!), soft mouthfuls paired with luxurious, giggly finishes. It was unusual, fun, and each subsequent sip was happily upheld by a new flood of sensation.

How did this classico hold up? Um, can I just say, "not so much so"?

This wine made my nose crinkle with the alcohol; there was no soft parade, no lingering dalliance. Instead, haughty cherries bearing coiled whips marched saucily by, then promptly exited stage left, leaving not the slightest trace of their passage.

I can't say that I'll be rushing out to pick up another 750 ml anytime soon, but we had already gotten the 3-litre. It's been cellared, and won't be seeing the light of day for quite some time.

But, back to the fondue. What a lovely way to linger over dinner, huddling against the chill in the air, enjoying two of my favourite foods, and one of my favourite people.
I call this 'Retro 70's Self-Portrait'.

Party on, good people of the world, and may your spear never lose its bread.

Gourmet Magazine Welsh Rabbit

Cheddar cheese (or any sharp cheese mixture), grated, to equal 4 cups (this equals one bowl grated in my food processor)
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon dry mustard
scant teaspoon cayenne pepper
scant teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup beer

bread. toast it while you do the rest.

Grate cheese, and toss with next four ingredients.
In saucepan, melt butter and add beer.
Add cheese mixture 1/4 cup at a time, whisking until smooth.

Pour into fondue pot, and make sure there's a little fire burning to keep it warm. Look at it lovingly before tearing in.


Blogger Mona said...

That sounds so good. And could inspire one of my last final dishes:) Oh man, I want fondue NOWWWWWWWWWWW! yours sounds so great!

December 22, 2005 7:09 PM  
Blogger MeBeth said...

Hey S'kat, I'm having my fondue party tonight. Yours looks like it was great!

December 22, 2005 7:17 PM  

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