Since cheese fondue is the most popular fondue for making at home, what type(s) of cheese is used in a simple, traditional recipe?
"It would be Gruyere and Emmentaler. Both cheeses impart earthy, rich flavor that balances the wine with which they are combined in the fondue."
Terrance Brennan is the Chef-Proprietor of Artisanal Fromagerie and Bistro located on the corner of Park Avenue and 32nd Street in Manhattan. It's renowned for authentic French bistro dishes like Coq au Vin, Cassoulet and Hanger Steak with Frites. It's a mecca for cheese, too.
At Artisanal, Terrance is highly regarded for his ground breaking cheese service. He pays "homage to the fromage" with his selection of exquisite fondues, among them Classic Swiss Fondue with Gruyere and Emmenthal, Stilton and Sauternes, Artisanal Blend, and an ever changing selection of Fondues du Jour. Here he offers his tips for making fondue at home.
What are your tips for making fondue?
- Before you melt it, make sure the cheese is at room temperature
- Use a dry white wine to mix in with the cheese because the acid helps the cheese melt smoothly. Or to be sure you have enough acid, add a little bit of lemon juice to the mixture.
- Don't boil the cheese mixture. Bring it to a high temperature slowly.
- Keep the fondue on low heat and occasionally swirl it or use a whisk to do figure eight rotations to keep it well mixed.
What foods do you recommend serving with fondue?
"At Artisanal, we offer air-dried beef, fingerling potatoes, kielbasa, crudités such as broccoli, red and green peppers and fennel, seared beef tips and apples. People say you should serve fondue with day-old bread, but I like crusty bread. I put fresh bread in the oven to get it nice and toasty."
How about wines?
"It depends upon the type of fondue you're serving. Cheese fondue is nice with Riesling or Gewurtztraminer. The Stilton fondue with Sauternes. You can also explore other wines such as Cabernet Malbec, Tempranillo or stick with a more familiar wine such as Chardonnay if you're comfortable with that."