Cooking with Jonathan By Jonathan Jolicoeur

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In this weekly culinary column, I will be focusing on one dish – giving the reader a quick history of the dish, the classical
preparation of it, and of course, my own spin on the classic.

This week I have chosen to cover a dish that most people in this country have had at one time or another – fondue. Fondue originated in Western Europe with it being commonly refereed to as an Italian, Swiss and French dish. In the early 1930’s, the Swiss Cheese Union promoted fondue as the “national dish” of Switzerland. Fondue became extremely popular here in the states during the 1960’s. The word “fondue” has been used to also describe almost any pot of hot liquids – with the most common uses being: chocolate fondue, fondue bourguignon (the cooking of meats in hot oil), and cheese fondue – which is clearly the most commonly known. The earliest recorded recipe for fondue dates back to 1699, and was published as “kass mit wein zu kochen” or “to cook cheese with wine.” Since the time when fondue originated, the dish has taken many different forms before becoming the dish we all know today; however, the two main ingredients have always stayed the same – cheese and wine.

Traditional Fondue

1½ cup​Gruyere cheese, shredded
1½ cup​Emmenthaler cheese, shredded (commonly known as Swiss cheese)
½ cup​Appenzeller cheese, shredded
2 tbsp​All purpose flour
1 cup​Dry white wine
1 clove​Garlic
1 tsp​Lemon juice
1 tsp​Kirsch (a colorless fruit brandy specifically for fondue)
1 pinch​Nutmeg
to taste​Salt, pepper

Place cheeses into a medium-sized mixing bowl and toss with the flour, then set aside. Rub fondue pot with the clove of garlic, then add the wine to the pot. Place the fondue pot on the stove over medium heat. Allow the wine to get hot, making sure to not boil. Stir in lemon juice and the kirsch. Add a handful of cheese at a time, stirring continuously. Keep repeating this process (handfuls of cheese at a time) until all of the cheese has melted in. Remove from heat and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Place the pot into the holder and adjust the burner to allow the fondue to continue to bubble gently. Serve with plenty of cubed cuts of crusty bread and enjoy.

Jonathan’s Fondue

1½ cup​Gruyere cheese, shredded
1½ cup​Fontina cheese, shredded
½ cup​Gouda cheese, shredded (light smoked, preferably)
6 oz​Dry white wine
1 oz​Heavy cream
1 oz​Whole milk
1 tsp​Kirsch (a colorless fruit brandy specifically for fondue)
1 tsp​Butter
4​Egg yolks
1 pinch​Nutmeg
to taste​Salt, pepper

Rub fondue pot with the clove of garlic, then add the wine to the pot, Add the kirsch, butter, cream and milk into the pot. Place the fondue pot on the stove over medium heat. Allow the wine to get hot, making sure not to boil. Add a handful of cheese at a time, stirring continuously. Keep repeating this process (handfuls of cheese at a time) until all of the cheese has melted in. Remove from the heat, then mix the egg yolks and seasonings, stirring continuously – taking care not to scramble the eggs – until fully incorporated. Place the pot into the holder and adjust the burner to allow the fondue to bubble gently. Serve with cubed cuts of crusty bread and enjoy.

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