Happy Mother's Day!
I know I'm a couple of days early, but I wanted to share my gratitude with all of the mothers out there who are doing their best every day to raise their children while juggling the other things that life throws at them. You truly make a big difference!
In the same
spirit, why not cook a special meal for YOUR own mother this weekend? A cheese fondue is easy to make and you can share memories with her while dipping tasty bread and veggies into your favorite cheese mixture (possibly with a cup of your favorite crisp white wine in hand)?
Fondue Tip of The Month
Making cheese fondue can sometimes be tricky for newbies so here are a few important things to be careful with:
- Wine is an important ingredient (or other acidic liquid like unsweetened lemonade if you want an alcohol-free cheese fondue). Its acidity will help soften the cheese. Make sure to warm up the wine (or beer/juice) and bring it near boiling before starting to add the cheese mixture. Always use dry wines for fondue.
- Temperature. If you let your liquid come up to a boil, it will be too hot, and the protein in the cheese can coagulate, squeezing
out the fat, which can result in a big lumpy mess. If your liquid has reached boiling point, reduce the heat and stir it a bit to cool it off before adding your cheese. You can also add a bit more alcohol (some of it will evaporate anyway, but be careful NOT to overdo it as you may not have enough cheese to compensate and the flavor may become overpowering). You know you've reached the right temperature when little bubbles start to appear in the liquid, but before these bubbles turn into a boil. Lower the heat while melting your cheese.
- Melt cheese a handful at a time. Use grated or small chunks of cheese and stir constantly with a wooden spoon.
- Cornstarch is a binding agent. Most recipes call for it because it helps the cheese bind with the liquid. You can use 1 tablespoon per pound of grated cheese. This can be done at the beginning (mixing it in with the cheese before you start to melt it) or later on (diluting the
cornstarch into Kirsch or a little more wine) once the cheese has started to melt.
- Don't let your fondue mixture sit there. Enjoy it as soon as it's ready and keep stirring it throughout your meal by making "Figure 8" movements with your dippers.
- Cheese selection. If given the choice, always go for older, firmer cheeses. They tend to tolerate higher temperatures better.
Have a fondue question? Please send it to me at [email protected] and it may be featured in next month's newsletter.
Monthly Recipe Idea
Here's the traditional wine-based cheese fondue recipe you can make for your mother on Mother's Day:
For dippers, break pieces of her
favorite type of bread into bite-sized pieces. You can also steam some cauliflower and broccoli florets or offer green apple slices.
If you don't trust yourself to make this recipe (or if my pointers scared you instead of helping you), you can easily pick up one of the pre-made cheese fondues from your local grocery store and simply re-heat it. For example: Swiss Knight Fondue, Fondu by Emmi or Swiss Castle.
Food For Thought
"All sorrows are less with bread."
- Miguel de Cerventes Saavadra
That's it for this
Want more fondue tips and ideas? Browse through my collection of fondue recipes or explore my fondue site in French.
Until next month, be careful with open flames, and have fun with fondue!
P.S. Get the complete guide to hosting a Greek-Inspired beef broth fondue dinner today!