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My mother has always reminded me of Doris Day. Hip, sophisticated, funny and charming, she could (and still can) bat her eyes to get what she wanted. At the butcher she would use her charm to get the best cuts of meat, for instance. In the 70’s, my hip mother would throw fondue parties and try her recipes on us before hand. Some good and some not, I grew to have an affection for fondue. One day my parents decided to leave New Orleans and move to Sandestin, now known as Miramar Beach. They handed a realtor friend the key to our home and said they would put it on the market when they returned from a weekend wedding. Upon returning  they found the home sold, but they had to move immediately. One of the items Mother put in the Garage sale pile was the Avocado Green Fondue Pot! I snatched it from the pile, claimed it as my own, and the rest is history. Now I have my own fondue parties trying out recipes on my family, some good and some not. I developed this recipe for a memorable Valentine’s Day lunch 2011 that I served my husband and daughter. they think this one’s a keeper.

4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb Gruyere
  • 1/2 pound grated Emmentaler
  • 1/4 Appenzeller
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 cloves garlic smashed
  • 2 cups dry chardonnay
  • Kirshwasser (cherry brandy) to taste
  • Pepper
  • Nutmeg
  • Good loaf of sourdough and loaf of rye breads cut into cubes
  • Par cooked (al dente) baby red, baby purple or baby Yukon gold potatoes quartered
  • 2 filet mignon steaks, cracked salt and ground pepper seasoned, then grilled to medium rare. Slice steak thin against the grain
  • Thin asparagus, ends trimmed then blanched. By blanching I mean placing asparagus in a boiling water for three minutes and then in an ice bath to cool.
  • 2 1lb fresh Maine lobster tails, shelled cubed and poached in butter in a skillet.

Preparation:

  1. Mix grated cheese with cornstarch in large bowl
  2. Add smashed garlic
  3. Add wine to fondue pot and bring to a boil on stove top
  4. Add cheese slowly by handfuls waiting on each to melt before adding another
  5. Add 4 tablespoons of kirshwasser
  6. Add 1 tsp of ground pepper to taste
  7. Pinch of ground nutmeg to taste
  8. Transfer pot to table and place on the fondue stand. Fill reservoir with fondue alcohol to heat. Be careful not to spill the alcohol, as your table will ignite in a fiery blaze! Take this from experience!
  9. Use fondue skewers at each place setting
  10. Place bread in a basket on table
  11. Plate asparagus potatoes, lobster, grilled meat and apples on a large platter to pass to guests

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NOTE: This is a delicious and fun meal to be shared with friends or divide the recipe in half to create an intimate dinner for two.  I also served some bubbly, Veuve Cliquot Rose, to enhance the dish and elevate the fun factor.