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Cheesy Swiss Fondue with Garlic & Chives – Not Just for Entertaining

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While fondue might be the ultimate party food- I’m in the mood for it’s silky, stingy texture and assertive flavor, and have decided to have a fondue night at home. Indulgent, okay just a little, but it only sounds fancy – it’s incredible simple to make!
I really got into the idea and decided to make these mini dinner rolls for dunking (bread cubes will do too!)


My vintage apple-green 70’s fondue pot with a “Fondue Is In” cooking pamphlet from my collection.
See my recipe for these adorable and tasty Mini Dinner Rolls with flaky salt.

Entertaining is not the same this holiday season – we are adapting traditions and celebrations during this pandemic – keeping things small.
I’m needing something to look forward to – so just us three living in my home are going to have a Fondue Party – yay!

Mini homemade dinner rolls surround a cheesy Swiss Fondue ready to dip into – check out the recipe!
There are endless possibilities what to dip into a warm fondue – I chose, apples, carrots, radishes and my fresh mini dinner rolls
It’s fun to make these dinner rolls in a wreath pattern, and drop the warm fondue in the center
Simple ingredients are used for the fondue: Gruyere cheese, Emmental Cheese, roasted garlic, white wine, fresh apple cider, apple cider vinegar, cornstarch and chives
my vintage apple-green 70's pot with my Cheesy Swiss Fondue with Garlic & Chives
Going vintage and using my apple-green enamel 70’s Fondue Pot… adds a bling of color!

Ingredients for fondue – it’s a short and simple list.

I had all but one ingredient at home – the Gruyere cheese!
White Wine – Choose something dry and high acid, such as Sauvignon Blanc.
You can also add part apple cider for the liquid in the fondue – I did… with a dash of apple cider vinegar.
CheeseGruyere Cheese is my favorite for fondue (it is often described as creamy and nutty when young, becoming more assertive, earthy, and complex as it matures) Emmental Cheese is a nice addition with a mild flavor that is slightly buttery.
Cornstarch – Helps stabilize the fondue so it does not break, flour is an alternative.
Grated Nutmeg –  A little bit imparts a nice flavor and complements the cheese with a nutty, warm and aromatic flavor.
Flavor Additions – I’m adding some Softened Garlic – it’s mellow flavor is noticeable and delicious.
Chives are another addition I love.
Kirsch – a cherry brandy is a typical add-in for fondue ~ I’m keeping it out, I prefer it without.

Traditionally, garlic is wiped around the base of the pan to give the entire dish a subtle hint of its flavor – I like to add it to the fondue… I love garlic!

Here’s the method:
Wine (and I have added fresh apple cider and vinegar) is heated over the stove in a bain marie (sounds fancy; simple place a bowl over a sauce pan of simmering water.) The liquid needs to just reach a simmer, a bain marie is required so the mixture does not burn.
Grated cheese is coated with the cornstarch and added to the put in 3 handfuls, stirring each addition until melted and stirred vigorously after each addition.
Now, add the softened garlic and a little freshly grated nutmeg. Stir all up until silky smooth and add the chives last.
Transfer the cheese mixture to a fondue pot – heat – and eat!

About cooking for ourselves:
Cooking at home is a “thing” again. And this recipe I put in the comfort food category!

Home cooking is on the rise nationwide, whether people are naturals in the kitchen or not. As a result, grocery purchases have soared, both in stores and online.

The trend is continuing as we enter 2021 – we are more interested in food & cooking (yea – we’re cooking for ourselves!) and I’m being nostalgic for some warm Cheesy Fondue.
Fondue is simple, comforting, communal and versatile.

Well – the communal aspect is a little daunting during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While learning how to make a fondue pot of gooey goodness is the ultimate comfort food right now – “double dipping” with anyone that is not living with you is a no-no.
And crowding around the pot is also not cool (yet it will be someday soon.)

I’m skewering these amazing mini dinner rolls for dunking into the fondue.
Is there is anything better than the smell of freshly baked bread wafting through the house?

This adventure is so festive, uplifting and rewarding  – a little fun during the Christmas to New Year’s break!

The popular tradition of the 1960s and ’70s has been rediscovered as the latest trend in home entertaining. People are becoming more and more aware of how much fun fondue is!

Maybe fondue will never again reach a ’60s – ’70s frenzy. But we keep returning to its charms. What old is always new again, one way or another. Sometimes its just reimagined.

You know I’m a freak for anything cool & vintage – original fondue pots are a hit on eBay and Etsy.
Check them out: cool & functional!  Vintage Fondue Pots.

A little History:
The term comes from the French word “fondre,” which means “to melt,” and the origin goes back to isolated Swiss alpine villagers. Long winters meant they relied on provisions of cheese, wine and bread, but the cheese was more often than not dried out and the bread stale. So they would melt the cheese with wine over a fire and soften the stale bread chunks by dipping in the melted concoction.

Murray’s Cheese Shop (a Greenwich Village tradition) says: But how did we learn to love fondue here in the States? It was all thanks to the World’s Fair.
Fondue was first promoted to Americans by Switzerland for the first time in 1964, at the New York World’s Fair. The dish was served at the Swiss Pavilion’s Alpine restaurant. Fondue was a hit with the local crowds, and it didn’t take long before the recipe spread to New York City restaurants.

Regardless of where you enjoy your fondue or what recipe you use, nearly all Swiss Alpine style cheeses will go great melted into your fondue pot of gooey goodness.

Enjoy the holidays and wishing you a healthy & Happy New Year!
Karen

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  1. Reply

    Wonderfully researched, tested and written piece! As a 1964 World’s Fair fan (I collect memorabilia and attended at 4 years old…) I love the little bit of history and can just imagine the fondue racing from the fairgrounds in Queens to Manhattan. I remember the sunken-living room fondue parties of my parents generation. And what fun to try this out on the family you live with during Covid. Your ingredients sound yummy. Gruyere! If it’s a success….let’s all plan a cheezy party for the post-pandemic!

    fondue parties

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