Now that the weather is getting cooler, there is nothing more sociable than a pot of Swiss Fondue.( for the Swiss, fondue is ALWAYS made of cheese) There is a game assoicated with the dish : If someone loses their piece of bread of the fork they have to pay a penalty! What that will be is up to you!
The trick to a successful fondue is to ensure that the cheese sauce stays smooth. Cheese has a propensity to get stringy or to "seize up" into clumps, the fat separating from the proteins. Do not over heat as cheese tends to ball up at higher temperatures and if possible use a fondue pot. Don't let the cheese cool down too much before serving, as it tends to get stringier and tougher as it cools. Don't over stir the cheese, doing so will encourage stringiness.. so many don'ts!!
When we lived in the Ticino, we would use Grappa instead of kirsh.
1/2 pound (Real) Swiss cheese such as Jarlsberg or Emmenthaler, shredded (or try Vacherin Fribourgeois)
1/2 pound Gruyere cheese, shredded ( aged about 8 months is best)
2 tablespoons cornstarch *
1 garlic clove, peeled, halved crosswise
1 cup dry white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc
1/4 cup kirsh
1 tablespoon lemon juice
*The cornstarch helps stabilize the sauce
Crusty bread, cubed, for dipping (can be a day old as it does not need to be super fresh - in fact a bit old is better!)When you cut the bread, try make sure that each piece had a bit of crust.
1 Place the shredded cheese and cornstarch in a plastic bag. Seal, shake to coat the cheese with cornstarch. Set aside.
2 Rub the inside of a 4-quart pot with the garlic, then discard. Over medium heat, add the wine and lemon juice and bring to a gentle simmer. Gradually stir the cheese into the wine. Stir constantly in a zig-zag pattern to prevent the cheese from seizing and balling up. Cook until the cheese is just melted and creamy. Do not let boil. Once smooth, stir in the kirsh and nutmeg.
3 Transfer the cheese to a fondue serving pot, set over a flame to keep warm.
4. Spear the bread cubes with a fondue fork, dip in mixture till coated in cheese, and EAT!!!
NB: As the cheese gets less and less, scrape the sides with your bread.When almost all the cheese is gone, lower the flame under the fondue pot.The last bit of cheese will be all toasty and yummy!