Growing up in a big family, holidays and gatherings always meant lots of people. It was not uncommon to find my sisters practicing their new-found salsa moves with cousins, while my brother and I looked on in embarrassment. So I found my way to the kitchen and found my love for food. The kitchen is my happy place and cooking at home for my family and friends is where I’d prefer to be most often.
This recipe is a wink to the Swiss-Austrian side of my heritage (which is Bavarian/Swiss/Panamanian—weird right?); a twist on a tried and true recipe from Lala, my paternal grandmother. She wasn’t a culinary master, but man could she fondue! It’s a perfect holiday recipe and has a way of bringing the ones you love together—and brings the dance party to your mouth!
8 oz. Gruyere cheese
8 oz. Emmentaler cheese
2 oz. Appenzeller cheese
2 oz. Raclette cheese
1 whole, peeled clove of garlic
2 cups of Herold Chardonnay — one for the dish one for the chef!
1 TBSP of fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 TBSP of Kirsch or raspberry liquer
4 TSP of cornstarch
1/4 TSP of freshly ground black pepper
A pinch of nutmeg
Shred or finely cube the Gruyere, Emmentaler, Appenzeller and Raclette cheeses. Toss in a mixing bowl along with the cornstarch. Set aside.
Take a saucepan and rub the inside with the whole, peeled clove of garlic – discard the remains. Pour 1 cup of wine for yourself and add the additional 1 cup of Chardonnay and the lemon juice to the saucepan. Simmer over medium heat.
Slowly add the cheese and cornstarch mixture one large spoonful at a time; stirring each until completely melted into the simmering wine mixture. Continue until all of the cheese has been melted. Keep cheese and wine mixture simmering over medium heat, but be careful not to burn. Add the Kirsch, nutmeg and pepper and continue to stir.
Transfer to a fondue pot over a warming burner. Serve immediately.
Fun stuff to cube, dip and eat:
Crusty French baguette, cooked bratwurst, cubed cured ham, lightly steamed shrimp or lobster, lightly steamed broccoli florets, lightly steamed cauliflower, blanched artichoke hearts, sautéed small whole mushrooms, steamed firm potatoes, raw celery, raw fennel, cherry tomatoes, cubed pear or apple. Let your imagination go wild!