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Los Angeles rain, fondue and great family time

October 15, 2009

Getting rain in LA is rare so when it comes down we love it! The air was cold, the rain was steady, and it was beautiful. The kids got home from school and I looked at everyone and said with this weather how about fondue tonight? Everyone was in! One problem. fondueNo fondue pot. Solution. Swiss neighbors. Not only did they have one but they have two which was a relief because they were doing fondue as well! I took the kids to the store after they finished homework and we got the goods while Nadia set the table.

One of the classic cheese fondue combinations is Gruyere (from the town with the same name) and Emmental. I wanted to soften it up a little for the kids so I added some mild Fontina along with the cave-aged Gruyere and Emmental. I softened some finely chopped shallots and a clove of garlic in a touch of olive oil. I added a slightly sweet Riesling (2 C) and let it simmer to half to concentrate the flavor. I then stirred in the grated cheeses slowly over low heat to avoid it getting stringy. I mixed in a slurry of cornstarch (2Tb) and water to keep the cheese creamy and together. I wanted a touch of spice so I added a touch of these ground Indonesia Muntok white peppercorns I had. White pepper is black pepper that sits on the vine longer to ripen more fully and “ferfamily eating fonduement” and then has the black husk removed. I smeared the fondue pot with two cloves of roasted garlic to add another layer of flavor. The kids tore the baguettes into chunks. I sliced a plate of salami and cornichons and it was time to eat.

The fondue was perfectly creamy as we dunked each cube of chewy bread in. The cheese cooled just enough from pot to mouth to give us a warm, creamy mouth feel. The sweetness of the wine and shallots is a backdrop to the deep nutty flavor of the cave-aged Gruyere. I taste the white pepper but not enough to bother the kids. The fontina does its job of softening everything and brining the flavors together. A cleansing bite of cornichon (baby pickles) cleanses our palates to prepare for the next bite. Nadia and I toast the kids with the same wine that I used in the fondue (a good match) and we laugh, eat and watch the rain come down. Homework is done, stomachs are full and we are enjoying some quality time together. I love the rain.

Eat well, enjoy life, be happy.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 15, 2009 9:31 am

    Hi Jeffrey,

    What I great idea for this weather-It rained very hard in SB as well. Could you post a recipe for the fondue? I have never made one and it would be great to serve a fondue or two for Halloween.

    Thanks Jeffrey and keep making us all hungry!

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      October 18, 2009 8:21 am

      Thank you Andrew. 2 Cups off dry Riesling wine simmered to half with a finely chopped shallot and a clove of chopped garlic. Slowly stir in 5 oz. shredded Gruyere cheese, 5 oz. shredded Emantal (swiss) cheese, 5 oz. shredded Fontina cheese and 2 Tb cornstarch mixed with water to form a “slurry”. Keep the heat LOW so the cheese does not become stringy. Stir in some finely ground white pepper (tsp or to taste). Rub a fondue pot with 2 cloves of roasted garlic and pour the cheese mixture in. Cube some bread, slice some cured meats, a few cornichons and you are ready for pleasure. enjoy! Take care.

  2. October 22, 2009 10:20 pm

    Hello from Russia!
    Can I quote a post in your blog with the link to you?

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      October 23, 2009 9:10 am

      sure, thank you for following 🙂

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