Remember your Psych 101 lecture on Pavlov and his salivating dogs? Well, just the slightest mention of Valentine’s Day, and I’m craving cheese fondue. Literally, I start dreaming about melted Gruyere right around February 1st every year and need to plan that fondue supper. It happens every year. Conversation hearts + red and pink + fondue = February.
My ideal Valentine’s Day celebration is to gather my family around, set a gorgeous table with candles, linens and fresh flowers, and eat cheese fondue until we’re sick. And then serve up the chocolate fondue with fresh fruit to top it off. I’m not into fancy shmancy restaurants or overpriced red roses…to me, Valentine’s Day is all about telling my family how much I love them. Since my love language is food, I think it’s a win-win for everyone. I get to cook for the people I love most, and we all get to enjoy a meal together. No crowds, no dress codes, and a meal of cheese, bread, fruit and chocolate. Truly, what could be better? And so, I will say “Happy Valentine’s Day” to my beloved family…and all those other lovers of cheese and chocolate!
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups Gruyere cheese
- 2 cups Emmental or Jarlsberg cheese
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
- Pinch paprika and nutmeg (optional)
- Cut a garlic clove in half and rub all over the inside of a heavy pot. Discard the clove.
- Add broth to pot and heat until simmering.
- Grate cheese.
- Put cheese and cornstarch in a ziploc and shake to incorporate cornstarch.
- Gradually add cheese mixture to pot, stirring constantly in zig-zag or hourglass pattern, until cheese is melted. (If you stir in a circle, the cheese may clump together and not melt properly.)
- Add spices, if using.
- Do not let mixture boil, but stir until all cheese is melted and thickened slightly.
- Transfer to fondue pot set over flame to serve.
*Favorite foods to dip: Fresh apple and pear slices Fresh chunks of Italian or French bread or pretzel bread Boiled or roasted new potatoes Roasted or steamed broccoli, cauliflower, carrots Chicken sausage Baby pickles
*Be sure to use high-quality cheese, and never use pre-grated. If it isn't aged properly, or if it's pre-grated, the consistency is compromised and may become lumpy.
*You can substitute dry white wine for the chicken broth for a richer flavor.