Fondue Vudu

First, a disclaimer. I haven't tried this recipe, and the only fondue I've had since a horrible attempt in junior high at a Girl Scout meeting (working on a cooking badge, (I think there was smoke involved), was the stuff in a little red box from the store, which was very good. (I don't remember the brand, I think the name was something Scandinavian or German). It was really good with sourdough bread chunks. That said, I've been wanting to try this one from Alton Brown.

Fondue Vudu

1 clove garlic, halved
1 (12-oz.) bottle hard apple cider
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp brandy
Pinch kosher salt
5 oz. (2 cups) Gruyere, grated
5 oz. (2 cups) Smoked Gouda, rind removed, grated
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp curry powder
Several grinds fresh ground black pepper

Rub inside of fondue pot or heavy small saucepan with garlic. Pour cider into pot. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, the brandy and salt and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, grate the cheese and toss well with the cornstarch in a large bowl.

When the cider just begins to simmer, gradually add the cheese a handful at a time, allowing each addition to melt completely before adding the next. Continue adding cheese and stirring until all cheese is incorporated, about 3 minutes. If mixture starts to bubble, reduce heat to low.

The mixture is ready when creamy and easily coats the back of a spoon. Stir in curry powder and pepper. If cheese seems stringy, add some or all of the remaining lemon juice. Move fondue pot to alcohol warmer, and keep stirring during service.

A variety of breads, from pumpernickel to rye to bagel chunks can be skewered and dipped as can cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms and potatoes. (Soften all vegetables by blanching briefly in boiling water then chilling.) Crisp fruits such as apples make great fondue fodder, as do cooked meats and sausages. Even soft pretzels make for good dipping. If any fondue is left over, cover with ice water and refrigerate, pour off water and reheat over low heat.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings



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