Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Blog Party: A Retro "Cheesy" Fondue!

When Stephanie announced that the theme of this month's blog party is "Retro", one word screamed out loud at me: FONDUE! For one thing, it is a retro food that I actually love to eat (The same cannot be said about some other retro favorites like jello salad and spam). For another, I own a pretty retro-looking fondue pot, a small red electric one that I bought for a few dollars at a moving sale. A fondue is a delicious way to while away a cold winter evening...huddled around a pot of molten cheese, dipping in crusty bread and potato wedges.
A real fondue consists of cheese melted into wine to make a bubbly sauce. I better announce my disclaimer right now: this is not a real fondue recipe that I am about to share with you. My first attempt at making real fondue was an unmitigated disaster of cheese separating into a grainy awful mess. I turned to Harold McGee's "On Food and Cooking" for help, and learned that it is the acidity in wine that makes for a smooth cheese fondue (the alcohol has nothing to do with it). Any other stabilizing agent such as flour can also do the trick. So that is how I have come up with this faux cheese fondue recipe that works for me.

Easy Cheesy Fondue
(serves 2-4)
1 tbsp butter
1/3 cup finely minced onions
1/3 cup finely minced green peppers
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 cup brie cheese, rind removed, torn into pieces
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese/ other cheese of your choice
2 tsp plain flour
1/2-1 cup milk
Pepper to taste
1. Place all the cheese in a bowl and toss together with the flour to coat.
2. Melt the butter and saute onions, pepper, garlic.
3. Add the cheese a little at a time on low heat, stirring to melt the cheese evenly.
4. Add milk to thin the fondue to your desired consistency.
5. Season with pepper (cheese is quite salty so no more salt should be needed).
6. Pour into a fondue pot if you want to keep the sauce warm at the table.

Serve with slices of crusty bread, roasted potato wedges and fruit such as pears, apples and grapes.

These baked potato wedges are great for dipping into the fondue, or just eating on their own, maybe with a dab of ketchup.
Oven-Baked Fries
2 medium potatoes
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Wash and scrub the potatoes. Cut into long wedges/fingers.
3. In a bowl, toss together the potatoes, oil, salt and pepper.
4. Spread the potato wedges in a single layer on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring once or twice while baking, till wedges are crispy and golden.

Try these with other seasonings such as garlic powder, rosemary or chilli powder.

This cocktail is my idea of a tasty retro drink, salty and spicy, just the way I like it.
Virgin Mary
For each serving, mix together:
1/2 cup V8 or any other brand of vegetable juice
1/2 cup tomato juice
Dash of tabasco sauce
4-5 drops of lemon juice
Sprinkle of salt and pepper
Serve over ice, garnished with a celery stick. Delicious!
Thanks for hosting, Stephanie, and I look forward to the next blog party!


  1. It's great Nupur!

    Would you believe we own three fondue pots? And we do use them, too...

    It's all fantastic, and perfect for a Retro Blog Pary...thanks for coming!

  2. Even though i'm old enough to have been there the first time around, I don't have a fondue pot. I'll be scouting the yard sales come spring-I'm getting a hankering for some.

  3. Hi Nupur,
    I totally enjoy your blog. I just joined my husband in Chicago from down south and am learning to cook from various sources. Your blog is one of my fav. sources. Both my husband and me enjoy a variety of cuisines. I lived in Bbay for 4yrs and truly enjoy maharashtrian cuisine.
    Keep updating your blog and the exotic aromas float through our apt.

  4. Hello Nupur- about the email I had sent earlier to you-my blog issue is fixed and my old blog is now up and running.

  5. Stephanie, this was so much fun. Three fondue pots...all I can say is WOW :)

    Hi Lindy, it is really fun to make once in a while...next I have to try my hand at chocolate fondue.

    Hi Getta, thanks so much for the feedback. I truly hope that your kitchen and table will always be full of great food and happy times!

    Mika, I'm glad your blog issues were resolved!

  6. Whenever my friend's husband goes out of town we always get together for a fondue meal since he will have no part of it. There is something about "cooking tiny little pieces of meat over a candle" (as my dad puts it!) that men just don't seem to go for!


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