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Steve's Fondue
Steve's Fondue Photo courtesy of Murray's Cheese Bar

If you think fondue peaked in the ’70s, we’re here to argue for a 2013 comeback. Our favorite version of the Swiss classic appears on the menu at the new Murray’s Cheese Bar in New York City, albeit with a funky American twist. In the cheese bar’s version, beer stands in for wine, and hot sauce delivers an unexpected kick. Serve the rich, melty cheese with a selection of accoutrements--we loved it with roasted brussels sprouts and cauliflower--and watch as a new generation falls for this decidedly retro party dish.

Makes 6 to 8 appetizer servings

1 garlic clove

1 cup lager

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

½ pound (8 ounces) Emmentaler cheese, coarsely grated

½ pound (8 ounces) gruyère cheese, coarsely grated

¼ pound (4 ounces) Alpine-style cheese such as Etivaz, Challerhocker or Beaufort, coarsely grated

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 to 2 teaspoons hot sauce

1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Toasted bread cubes, cubed apples, cornichons, roasted brussels sprouts or cauliflower and/or cubed ham or chorizo, for serving

1. Cut the garlic clove in half and rub it all over the inside of a medium Dutch oven. Discard the garlic clove. Add the lager and lemon juice to the pot and bring to a simmer.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the Emmentaler, gruyère and Alpine cheeses with the cornstarch and toss until the cornstarch evenly coats the cheese.

3. Using a wooden spoon, gradually stir the cheese into the liquid in the pot. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until the cheese is fully melted and smooth, about 5 to 7 minutes.

4. Add the hot sauce and nutmeg, then season with salt and pepper. Assemble the fondue pot (if using) and add the cheese fondue to the pot. Serve immediately with desired accompaniments. (If you are serving the fondue in the Dutch oven and the cheese starts to cool and congeal during the meal, simply stick the pot back on the stove over low heat and stir the cheese until it’s melted and smooth again. If you are using the fondue pot, keep the cheese fondue warm according to the manufacturer's instructions.)

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