Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Instead of scrambling for a last-minute dinner reservation, why not treat your special someone to a cozy evening at home with a pot of homemade fondue?
It couldn’t be easier with our simple five-ingredient recipe. The key? Wisconsin alpine-style cheese. Inspired by Old World traditions and crafted with fresh Wisconsin milk (often by Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers) these surface-ripened cheeses are aged in specially-designed curing rooms to develop a nutty, rich, full-bodied flavor and firm texture.
Try one of these Wisconsin alpine-style cheeses: Pleasant Ridge Reserve, Grand Cru, Little Mountain, Saxony or emmentaler.
1. Before you prepare your fondue sauce, prep your accompaniments for dipping. Start by cutting a loaf of French bread or a baguette into cubes (about 1 inch) If you prefer vegetables, try lightly steamed broccoli and cauliflower, fresh green beans and cherry tomatoes, or roasted mushrooms and butternut squash. If fruit is more your style, add grapes, strawberries or sliced apples and pears. Charcuterie is also great for dipping. The possibilities are endless!
2. Combine the shredded cheese with a little flour and season it with pepper. Use white pepper if you prefer a more subtle flavor and a fondue with a more uniform appearance, but black pepper works great too.
3. Rub your fondue pot with a halved clove of garlic and then discard. If your fondue pot is stovetop safe, place it over medium heat and add white wine. (Otherwise, prepare your fondue in a separate pot and then transfer). When the wine is hot (but not boiling), begin adding the cheese mixture by the handful, mixing constantly after each addition until the cheese is fully melted.
4. When the cheese has melted into a sauce, transfer to your fondue stand with a sterno or tealight and serve with accompaniments and a glass of sparkling wine.
Cheers to a happy, stress-free Valentine’s Day!
Alpine-Style Cheese Fondue
1 large clove of garlic, peeled and halved
4 cups (16 ounces) Wisconsin alpine-style cheese, shredded*
3 tablespoons flour 1/8 teaspoon white (or black) pepper
1 cup dry white wine
1 loaf (16 ounces) French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
Fresh vegetables, fruit and/or charcuterie, for dipping
Rub bottom and inside of fondue pot with garlic halves to add flavor; discard garlic.
In mixing bowl, combine shredded alpine-style cheese, flour and pepper. Mix so that flour coats cheese; set aside.
Heat fondue pot to medium heat. Add wine; heat until warm; do not boil. Add cheese, a handful at a time, stirring until cheese melts and mixture is a light creamy sauce. Adjust heat so that mixture stays fluid (low setting).
Serve with cubed bread, vegetables, fruit and/or charcuterie for dipping.
*Such as Pleasant Ridge Reserve, Grand Cru, Little Mountain or Saxony