Monday, November 24, 2008

Fondue You

Most of my experiments I send on with Dinah to take to work to be disposed of. It's rare that something comes out inedible and those that do go straight into the trash. Our motto at home is, "if it's no good, we'll go out for dinner." So the office does fairly well with experimental cookies, practice brownies and left over stews and such. I really try to avoid trying something new on guests. It's one of those unwritten rules about entertaining that probably should be written down someday. I'm not saying I've never done it. I did very well with a first time chocolate-espresso cheese cake once, but it's best not to practice on guests.

So with that in mind we had cheeseburgers last night with a fondue appetizer. I've never done fondue before and I needed to check two things before I spring it on company. One, can I do it. Two, is the alcohol content noticeable. On the first point the answer is yes. It came out wonderful. It is after all difficult to go wrong with melty cheese but I was worried at the beginning that it would be lumpy and stringy. I just needed patience. I went with a autumn themed recipe of white wine, Emmenthaler cheese, Monterrey Jack cheese, apple-cranberry juice, mustard, and a hint of garlic. I couldn't find my brandy so I left that out.

I was concerned on the second point. Alcohol plays an important part in the suspension of the cheese. Now I had no qualms serving to my kid knowing that there was a lot of dilution and a lot of the alcohol would cook out but I'm not sure how others would feel about their kid. I've never heard of anyone getting a buzz from fondue. Both Dinah and I agreed that once melted, no alcohol could be tasted or felt so I deem it a go. We can have cheese fondue for guests as a starter.

Oddly Rose did not care for the bread or apples dipped in cheese. Plain, they were great though. Her loss.

I just need to practice a main course (oil or broth) fondue and a dessert fondue and we are ready for a fondue party. We must own six or more fondue pots for some reason, though I can only find two right now. The worst part of this experiment was that I had to order a set of fondue forks because I can't find the 50 or so that we already own. Someday maybe we will be completely unpacked.

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